§ 60. Professor Savory
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, under Article 3 of the Treaty with Roumania, he has protested against the recent condemnation of seven Socialists, who have been sentenced to imprisonment for life for having held communication with British diplomatists, whose names were mentioned in Court, while no British representative was allowed to attend.
A protest, of which no notice was taken, was made against the exclusion from the court of a British representative. The Roumanian defendants were accused of espionage, but it was quite clear from the outset that the trial was one of the kind commonly staged by Communist Governments to liquidate the remnants of political opposition. The naming of members of the British and U.S. Legations, to whom 839 some of the defendants were alleged to have communicated information, was merely incidental to that end.
§ 61. Professor Savory
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether under Article 3 of the Treaty with Bulgaria he has made a protest against the sentence of 15 years' solitary confinement imposed on Kosta Lulchev for having tried to communicate with the British Labour Party.
Although I am not aware that the charges upon which Mr. Lulchev was sentenced included that of trying to communicate with the British Labour Party, I am glad to have this opportunity, on behalf of my right hon. Friend, of saying once again that His Majesty's Government strongly deprecate the Bulgarian Government's policy of eliminating political opposition by staging trials of this kind; that they hold such behaviour to be an infringement of the Bulgarian Peace Treaty; but that they consider that a protest to the Bulgarian Government would be ineffective since the Soviet Government have consistently refused to co-operate with His Majesty's Government and the Government of the United States in urging Bulgaria to comply with her Treaty obligations.
§ Professor Savory
is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the facts were clearly stated by Mr. Morgan Phillips, whose authority he will recognise?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman's hand has been strengthened in these two cases at any time by telegrams of protest being sent by Socialist back benchers to the Roumanian and Bulgarian governments?
The great bulk of my hon. Friends on the back benches are sensitive about all these injustices in that country as well as in others.
§ Mr. Eric Fletcher
Whatever may be the attitude of the Soviet Government, is it not very desirable that my right hon. Friend should continue to exercise his rights under Article 3 of the Treaty with Bulgaria?
The legal implications of Article 3 are, as we have tried to explain 840 from time to time to the House, quite complex. I prefer to say that we shall exert our rights under whatever Articles appear to be appropriate.
§ Mr. S. C. Taylor
In view of these incidents, is it not time the Government reviewed their attitude towards Franco Spain?