HC Deb 04 March 1946 vol 420 cc19-20W
81. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make representations to the government of Spain to provide an amnesty for political prisoners, particularly those who have been engaged in trade union and similar activities and who have not been found guilty of any violence.

Mr. Noel-Baker

As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary said in answer to a Question on 22nd October last year, His Majesty's Representatives in Madrid have for a considerable time past taken every suitable opportunity of impressing on the Spanish authorities the most unfortunate effect produced on opinion in this country by the imprisonment of Spanish citizens whose only offence was political. His Majesty's Representatives have frequently urged that this practice should be brought to an end.

A decree was in fact made by the Spanish Government on 9th October last, granting an amnesty to persons imprisoned for political offences which had been committed before 1st April, 1939. Under this amnesty, some 10,000 persons have, according to official Spanish figures, so far been released. The Spanish Government admit, however, that there are some 15,000 persons who are still held in Spanish prisons on account of acts committed during the Civil War. His Majesty's Ambassador is continuing to watch the matter closely.

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