asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any instructions have been sent to the British naval commanders in Northern Spanish waters informing them that they are to take all practical steps to carry out the Government's policy to afford all possible protection to British merchant ships who, in spite of the Government's advice, desire to enter Spanish territorial waters even though there may exist a de facto state of blockade outside those waters?
§ Sir S. Hoare
I have nothing to add to the very full statements which were made on behalf of His Majesty's Government during the Debate on the Adjournment on 20th April.
§ Viscount Cranborne
In accordance with the statement which was made in reply to a question by the hon. Member for Kingswinford (Mr. A. Henderson) on 24th March, His Majesty's representatives at Hendaye and Valencia were instructed to request the competent Spanish authorities to furnish an assurance that all British prisoners in their hands would be treated in conformity with the rules usually applied to prisoners of war, and to inform them that His Majesty's Government would take a serious view of any treatment of volunteers of British nationality more severe than that justified by these rules. Inquiries were also made with a view to ascertaining the numbers and, if possible, the names of any British subjects taken prisoner by either side.
§ Mr. Mander
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the protection of the Navy will be afforded off Bilbao in the event of a British merchant vessel inside territorial waters being fired on by a rebel warship outside territorial waters, and in the event of a British merchant vessel outside territorial waters being fired on by a rebel warship inside territorial waters?
§ Sir S. Hoare
I have been asked to reply. I would refer the hon. Gentleman 1935W to the answers which I gave yesterday to the hon. Member for the Kingswinford Division (Mr. A. Henderson).