HC Deb 28 July 1937 vol 326 cc3104-5W
Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will instruct His Majesty's Ambassador at Hendaye to make representations to General Franco concerning the present lamentable condition of 5,000 wounded Basques at Santander; and whether, in view of the lack of hospital accommodation and medical equipment available there, he will urge General Franco to allow ships evacuating these wounded to pass unmolested into and out of the territorial waters adjacent to that port?

Mr. Eden

While His Majesty's Government have every sympathy with the sufferings of those involved in the Spanish civil war, it would not be possible for them to intervene on behalf of members of the combatant forces of either side except in support of an international humanitarian initiative which was applicable to both parties in Spain. As the hon. Member will be aware, no such initiative has yet been found acceptable.

Mr. Parker

asked the Prime Minister how many members of His Majesty's Government own shares in companies which directly or indirectly control iron ore deposits and mines in Spain; and whether he intends to ask these persons to dispose of these shares, in view of the danger of partisanship in the civil war which their ownership may cause?

The Prime Minister

I have no information in regard to the first part of the hon. Member's question, and I see no reason why I should ask for it.

Mr. Petherick

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is satisfied that there has been no abuse of the use of British flags by any merchant vessels trading with Spain which are in fact owned or operated by either of the two contesting Governments in that country?

Captain Wallace

I am not aware of any abuse of the British flag in the circumstances specified in the question; but if my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind I should be glad if he would send me particulars.

Mr. Cocks

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in the public interest, he will give the House the information possessed by the Government regarding the calibres and numbers of the guns erected in Spanish territory adjacent to Gibraltar; and, if not, whether he will state what special public interests will suffer by the disclosure of such information?

Sir V. Warrender

This question was put on the Paper before the statement on this subject made in the course of Debate yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Co-ordination of Defence.