HC Deb 25 July 1938 vol 338 cc2727-8W
Sir A. Wilson

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the execution by the Government in Barcelona of prisoners included in lists for exchange, in spite of assurances to the contrary given to the British Embassy by Senor Alvarez del Vayo; and whether the British chargéd'affaires in Barcelona has been instructed to lodge a protest?

Mr. Butler

My hon. Friend doubtless refers to a group of prisoners who were charged with espionage and shot on 24th June. I am not aware that the Spanish Government, who are unwilling in principle to exchange prisoners charged with espionage, ever agreed to the exchange of these prisoners or that assurances were given to His Majesty's Embassy that their lives would be spared. Nevertheless, His Majesty's Minister took all the steps open to him on the prisoners' behalf and, after the sentences had been carried out, he warned the Spanish Government of the probable repercussions of their action.