British Forces (Use)

Oral Answers to Questions — Greece – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28 March 1945.

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Photo of Mr John Martin Mr John Martin , Southwark Central 12:00, 28 March 1945

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that British troops are now garrisoning areas previously occupied by E.L.A.S. and of the recently attempted legislation which threatened freedom of speech, he will take all necessary measures to ensure that they will not be made use of in any way or at any time in such a manner as might intimidate Greek citizens or prevent the free expression of political and social opinion, as promised in the E.A.M.-Plastiras agreement of 12th February.

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

I am not sure what my hon. Friend has in mind when he speaks of recent attempts to impose legislation threatening freedom of speech. As regards the British Forces in Greece, one of their tasks is to ensure that law and order are maintained, and they must enjoy the necessary powers for this purpose. Subject to this qualification, however, I can give an assurance that they will not be used to intimidate Greek citizens or to prevent the free expression of political and social opinions. Indeed, I might add that at no time have they been used for any such purpose, and that the constant objective of His Majesty's Government in Greece has been to create conditions in which the Greek people could freely take their own decisions about the future form and composition of their Government.