Unoccupied France (Political Prisoners).

Oral Answers to Questions — Yugoslavia. – in the House of Commons on 2nd April 1941.

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Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why no attempt was made, when granting per mission for the two food-ships to go to Vichy, France, to couple it with the condition that Messieurs Blum and Reynaud and other friends of democracy should be released, and Breitscheid not handed over to the Germans?

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

Experience has shown that intervention of this kind is not, as a general rule, beneficial to the individuals concerned.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Are we not living in new times, and is it not our first duty to protect our friends in France when we have an opportunity of doing so?

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

Certainly. But in my experience, and, I think, that of the House, when steps of this sort are taken it does not always redound to the advantage of the individuals concerned.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider consulting the American Government in connection with this matter?

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

I certainly have no objection to doing that.

Photo of Mr William Leach Mr William Leach , Bradford Central

Are not the Government now convinced that the sole beneficiary out of this transaction is Germany?