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Albanian Guerillas

Volume 393: debated on Thursday 4 November 1943

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asked the Prime Minister whether he can make any statement about guerillas in Albania and His Majesty's Government's policy towards them?

Yes, Sir. Thousands of Albanian guerillas are now fighting in their mountains for the freedom and independence of their country. From the experience of other occupied countries they have learned that the so-called independence conferred by Germany is a cruel fraud. Some weeks ago the Fascist occupation, which for over four years they had refused to accept, was replaced by German oppression. The Germans are employing all the usual methods by which they seek to subdue warlike peoples; already they have bombed Albanian villages and killed Albanian women and children; but the Albanian guerillas continue to harass the enemy and to attack his communications.

The British liaison officers who are with these guerillas have paid high tribute to their fighting qualities. We look to the Albanians to play their part in accordance with their ancient warlike traditions in the future military developments in the Mediterranean area. The policy of His Majesty's Government remains as explained by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in his statement on 17th December, 1942; that is to say, we wish to see Albania freed from the Axis yoke and restored to her independence. The frontiers will of course be considered at the Peace Settlement.