Oral Answers to Questions — United Kingdom and Czechoslovakia.

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

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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.