Oral Answers to Questions — United Kingdom and Czechoslovakia.

– in the House of Commons on 5th August 1942.

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Photo of Major Sir Derrick Gunston Major Sir Derrick Gunston , Thornbury

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, having regard to the recognition of the Czechoslovak Government in July, 1941, and to the resistance being offered to German oppression by the Czechoslovak people, His Majesty's Government still consider themselves bound in any way by the terms of the Munich Agreement?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I am glad to have this opportunity to inform the House that I have e to-day exchanged notes with the Czechoslovak Minister for Foreign Affairs in which I stated that the policy of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom in regard to Czechoslovakia was guided by the formal act of recognition of the Czechoslovak Government by His Majesty's Government in July, 1941, and by the Prime Minister's statement on 30th September, 1940, that the Munich Agreement had been destroyed by the Germans. I added that, as Germany had deliberately destroyed the arrangements concerning Czechoslovakia reached in 1938, His Majesty's Government regarded themselves as free from any engagements in this respect, and that at the final settlement of the Czechoslovak frontiers to be reached at the end of the war, His Majesty's Government would not be influenced by any changes effected in and since 1938.

In his reply Monsieur Masaryk informed me that the Czechoslovak Government accepted my note as a practical solution of the questions and difficulties of vital importance for Czechoslovakia which emerged between our two countries as the consequence of the Munich Agreement, while maintaining their political and juridical position with regard to that Agreement and to the events which followed it.

The text of this exchange of notes is being laid as a White Paper.

I should not like to let this occasion pass without paying tribute on behalf of His Majesty's Government to the tenacious and courageous stand which the Czechoslovak people are making against their ruthless German oppressors. Acts such as the destruction of Lidice have stirred the conscience of the civilised world and will not be forgotten when the time comes to settle accounts with their perpetrators.

Photo of Major Sir Derrick Gunston Major Sir Derrick Gunston , Thornbury

While congratulating the Government and all its Members on denouncing the Munich Agreement, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether his statement in any way affects the frontier between Czechoslovakia and Poland?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

My answer deals with the Munich Agreement. The point which my hon. and gallant Friend makes, if I understand him aright, concerns the frontier between two Allied countries, and I have every confidence that will be dealt with on the basis of the close and friendly relations which now happily exist between them.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Can the atrocities referred to possibly stir the conscience of the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor), if she has one?