HC Deb 23 June 1937 vol 325 cc1218-9W
Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether replies have now been received to the protests addressed to General Franco on 12th January with reference to the "Bramhill;" on 13th February with reference to the "Havock" and "Gipsy;" and on 28th April with reference to the "Greathope"?

Mr. Eden

As regards the steamship "Bramhill," protest was delivered by the British naval authorities to the naval authorities at Cadiz on 15th January and a further protest was addressed to the Salamancan authorities by His Majesty's Ambassador at Hendaye on 19th January. Replies were received to both these communications. The Salamanca authorities regretted the occurrence and stated that further strict orders were being issued to Commanding Officers of insurgent patrol ships to avoid a repetition of such incidents.

A reply was received on 12th April to Sir H. Chilton's protest of 17th February regarding the bombing of His Majesty's Ships "Havoc" and "Gipsy." The reply stated that inquiries had not resulted in confirming that on 13th February His Majesty's Ship "Havoc" and His Majesty's Ship "Gipsy" were bombed by aircraft belonging to General Franco's forces. The reply added that, according to the reports available, on approximately the date in question an aircraft belonging to General Franco's forces dropped several bombs, but dropped them on three "red" merchant ships, whose presence in the eaters in question had been reported, and not upon British warships.

As regards the incident of the "Greathope" a protest was made on 27th April by the British naval authorities, who received a reply which was not regarded as satisfactory. The insurgent authorities were, therefore, informed that interference with British ships would not be tolerated.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

. asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when the Non-Intervention Committee propose to issue the appeal, as proposed by His Majesty's Government prior to 24th May, to the two parties in the civil strife in Spain to abstain from aerial bombardment of open towns and nonmilitary objectives?

Viscount Cranborne

The appeal, the terms of which were agreed to by the Non-Intervention Committee on 18th June, has already been addressed-to the two parties in Spain, on behalf of the committee, by His Majesty's representatives at Hendaye and Valencia.