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Portugal (British Interests)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1943

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14.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information about the action of the Portuguese Government tending to the assumption of control of British and other foreign public utility companies operating in Portugal; and whether His Majesty's Government are in communication with the Portuguese Government with a view to safeguarding the position of the British interests involved?

I understand that a Bill of this nature has been submitted by the Portuguese Government to the National Assembly, where it is under study. His Majesty's Ambassador has asked the Portuguese Government for an explanation of the scope and purpose of this Measure, and has drawn attention to the implications which it may have for the important British undertakings operating in Portuguese territory.

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that His Majesty's Government will continue to do all they possibly can to secure fair play for British interests in Portugal, in order that the trade between the two countries which has existed with so much harmony and cordiality for many years may be continued on that basis?