HC Deb 11 February 1963 vol 671 cc923-5
16 and 17. Sir L. Plummer

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) what was the nature of the protests he made to the Spanish Government over the arrest of a British subject, Miss Chloe Vulliamy, on 14th January, 1963, her detention by the Spanish police for four days in Cordoba and her subsequent deportation from Spain; and whether he will make a statement;

(2) on what date the Spanish Government authorities informed Her Majesty's Ambassador in Madrid of the arrest on 14th January, 1963, and subsequent detention of Miss Chloe Vulliamy; and what action he took on receipt of this information.

Mr. P. Thomas

Her Majesty's Ambassador was not informed at the time. Miss Vulliamy communicated with the Foreign Office after her return to this country and on the instructions of my noble Friend Her Majesty's Ambassador made representations to the Spanish Government on 25th January. The Spanish Government undertook to arrange an immediate enquiry.

Sir L. Plummer

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that this Quaker lady, with no political associations at all, was charged with having given £3 to the family of a Spanish political prisoner, that she was thrown into a Spanish gaol under filthy and intolerable conditions, and that the Spanish authorities kept her incommunicado and then deported her without any proper charge being made against her? The Foreign Office have taken a long time to insist on the Spanish Government's both making an apology and paying compensation. May I ask the Joint Under-Secretary whether the Foreign Office will now make it quite clear to General Franco that British people are not to be treated in this way?

Mr. Thomas

I am aware of the facts of the case as described by this lady to the Foreign Office and to the Press. I think we should now await the full reply by the Spanish Government to the representations we have made to them.

Sir L. Plummer

In view of what I regard as the unsatisfactory nature of this reply—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—I wish to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.