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Europe (British Foreign Policy)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware of the damage done to British prestige in Europe and especially in Eastern Europe during the past 18 months by the activities of British subjects who travel abroad at the expense of extreme left wing organisations and parties with the object of denigrating British foreign policy as carried out by himself; and what steps he is taking to counteract the effects of this propaganda.

I am aware that many people of more than one party go abroad and speak on matters of foreign policy, but from my conversations with the Ministers of the countries visited, they are fully, alive to the value that should be placed upon their utterances. The regrettable part is that, while the Ministers can assess the importance of the speeches, they are sometimes exploited to the disadvantage of this country.

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that many wealthy people go abroad and say that Britain is being destroyed by the efforts of himself and his colleagues?

If my hon. Friend will look at my answer in HANSARD tomorrow he will see that I do not confine it to one class or one party going abroad. It does, in fact, apply to more than one party, and I must confess that sometimes speeches which are made are a little embarrassing.