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French Provisional Consultative Assembly, Algiers

Volume 393: debated on Wednesday 3 November 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will arrange for a small Parliamentary delegation to convey greetings to the French Provisional Consultative Assembly in Algiers?

No, Sir. I do not consider that the action suggested is appropriate at present.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that such a gesture from the oldest Parliament in the world would be very much appreciated in French circles? Would he not consider sending a message to the meeting of this Assembly to-day?

The hon. Gentleman is under some misapprehension. This body in Algiers is not a Parliamentary body, it is a consultative body. There are 20 members of the two Houses in it, but they are a minority—20 out of 84.

Is not the initiative in sending a delegation of this kind a matter for the House, and not for the Government?

How many Members of this House have not been on a delegation of some kind or other since the beginning of the war?