§ 4. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received any information or reports as to commercial concessions granted by the rebel leaders in Spain to Germany and to Italy, and especially as to the granting of rights to exploit ore mines in Spain and Spanish Morocco?
§ Mr. Eden
I have certain information which goes to show that General Franco has entered into current commercial contracts with various foreign countries. Such contracts must, however, be distinguished from commercial concessions for the future. His Majesty's Consul at Tetuan reported in February a rumour of the sale of the iron ore products of the Espanola del Rif mine in Spanish Morocco to German nationals. This report was not, however, confirmed, and I am now informed that the mine in question had been authorised to fulfil its 982 contracts with the United Kingdom for the rest of the year. I have had no reports to show that General Franco has granted, or promised to grant, to Germany or Italy any right to exploit iron mines in Spain or Spanish Morocco.
§ Mr. Thorne
In the event of General Franco being defeated, will the Spanish Government be entitled to nullify everything that has been done?
§ 5. Mr. Noel-Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action has been taken by His Majesty's Government with regard to the request made by the Spanish Government for an inquiry by the Non-Intervention Committee into the invasion of Spanish territory by Italian armed forces?
§ 6. Mr. Mander
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the position of Mr. Koestler, recently News-Chronicle correspondent in Malaga, where he is being detained, what charges have been made against him, and what efforts are being made to obtain his release?
§ Mr. Eden
Mr. Koestler is not a British subject, but, in view of the fact that he was a correspondent of an English newspaper, His Majesty's Ambassador at Hendaye has already been instructed to inform the insurgent authorities unofficially that His Majesty's Government are concerned for his welfare and would be glad of information concerning his position.
§ Mr. Mander
Although Mr. Koestler is not a British subject, is my right hon. Friend aware that he was taken by a Spanish staff officer by force from the house of Sir Peter Chalmers-Mitchell which was flying the Union Jack? In those circumstances, does the right hon. Gentleman not think it is right that we should make the most urgent representations?
§ Mr. Mander
But is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that these are the facts—that he was taken by force from that house?
§ Mr. H. G. Williams
Will the right hon. Gentleman say how representations are made to a Government which the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) does not recognise?
§ Mr. Jagger
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that, as the Government are recognised by the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams), he can communicate through him?
§ 8. Mr. Noel-Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many notes have been addressed by His Majesty's diplomatic agents to the insurgent leaders at Burgos since 1st January last; and how many replies have been received?
§ 13. Sir A. Knox
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what country the Non-Intervention Committee has entrusted the observation of the French frontier of Spain?
§ Mr. Eden
The observation of the Franco-Spanish frontier is not entrusted to any one country. It will be under- 984 taken by five administrators, each in charge of a separate zone. According to the present arrangements these administrators will be a Swedish, a Norwegian, a Finnish, a Latvian and a Netherlands subject respectively. They are responsible to a "Chief Administrator" who is in charge of the whole frontier. The officer appointed for this post is Colonel Lunn, a Danish subject.
§ 14. Sir Arthur Salter
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has yet received any communication from the Spanish Government as to the landing of Italian combatants in substantial numbers at Cadiz on or about 24th March; and, if so, whether he has made, or is making, inquiries as to the facts of the case?
§ Mr. Bellenger
Would not this be a gross breach of the undertakings given by the Italian Government?
§ 45. Mr. Riley
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that His Majesty's Government have not accorded belligerent rights to the rebel forces in Spain, instructions have been or will be given to provide adequate protection for British ships to carry on their legitimate trade in delivering non-contraband goods to Spanish ports?
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Baldwin)
Perhaps the hon. Member will be good enough to await the Debate this afternoon.