Oral Answers to Questions — Czechoslovakia.

– in the House of Commons on 18th May 1938.

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Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth North

asked the Prime Minister how many petitions have been received by the Secretariat of the League of Nations during the last 10 years from German-speaking citizens of Czechoslovakia complaining of the refusal of political, social, or cultural rights to these citizens by the Czechoslovakian Government?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

As full particulars are not readily available in London, I am making inquiries at Geneva and will communicate the result to the hon. Member in due course.

Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth North

asked the Prime Minister whether, in the representations which His Majesty's Government are making to the Czechoslovakian Government to grant further cultural or political rights to its German-speaking minorities, he will make it clear that any such action should be conditional on reciprocal concessions being made by the German Government to the Czech minorities within German territory?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

As I said in the House on 16th May, His Majesty's Government have urged upon the Czechoslovak Government the desirability of doing everything in their power to further an agreed settlement of the problem, but they have not suggested any particular measures or concessions. There is no substantial Czech minority in Germany, and the action suggested by the hon. Member would not, therefore, be appropriate.

Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth North

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is a minority consisting of several hundred thousand Czechs, and that neither to that minority nor to any other minority in Germany do the German Government extend political or cultural rights, or anything else?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I cannot accept the figures of the hon. Member, which seem to me to be very much exaggerated.