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Political Prisoners (Amnesty)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 22 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, following his recent successful intervention to prevent the execution of two political prisoners in Spain, he will consider diplomatic measures to assist in securing a general amnesty for political prisoners in Spain.

For a considerable time past His Majesty's Representatives in Madrid have taken every suitable opportunity of impressing on the Spanish authorities the highly unfortunate effect on opinion in this country caused by the detention in prison for long periods of persons whose only offence had apparently been of a political nature. His Majesty's Representatives have frequently urged that this practice should be terminated. His Majesty's Ambassador in Madrid was recently informed by the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs that executions for political reasons had now ceased, and that no prisoners condemned for purely political offences remained in gaol. Furthermore, in the Spanish Government's official statement published on 12th October it was stated inter alia that

"it is considered advisable to grant a general pardon of the main offences for offenders guilty of rebellion or disturbances of the peace committed before April 1st, 1939, and prisoners or those in exile who are not the authors of crimes connected with the common law, which are repugnant to every honest conscience."
His Majesty's Government trust that this statement, which they have read with satisfaction, means that a general amnesty is to be extended to political prisoners in Spain. They will, however, continue to follow the matter, and should it transpire that their hopes are not fulfilled, will not hesitate to renew their representations to the Spanish Government.