News Agency Report

Oral Answers to Questions — Spain – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury 12:00 am, 27th July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will protest to the Spanish Government concerning the publication in the Spanish Government news agency report of June of a statement wrongly asserted to have been publicly made by the British Ambassador in Spain to the effect that the present Spanish régime has done more for the working classes than any of its predecessors.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

Why not? Does the Foreign Secretary not know that the alleged statement was given wide publicity in Spain, that it appears in the official Spanish news release and that it gives the impression that the Franco régime is given the official support of Her Majesty's Government? Does he not understand that that is a most unfortunate impression to give, and will he, therefore, make the protest which is suggested in the Question?

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

No, Sir. I think that the incident has been very much exaggerated. Her Majesty's Ambassador never made any official statement about Spanish domestic affairs, and I would not wish to do so now.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that if he made such a statement our Ambassador was absolutely right? In view of the Labour Party's attitude in this House to Spain, will he do his best to discover whether or not the Labour Party intends to declare war on Spain and, if so, ensure that it puts it in its manifesto so that at least British tourists know where they are?