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Argentine Railways (British Personnel)

Volume 463: debated on Monday 4 April 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now say what further information he has received regarding the present status of British personnel employed on the Argentine railways.

Yes, Sir. His Majesty's Ambassador in Buenos Aires has reported that three British assessors to the Ministry of Transport have been deprived of their post In addition, one deputy manager and a dozen other British employees have been given notice of discharge. In none of these cases have the Argentine authorities offered adequate compensation or produced satisfactory reasons for ending their employment. This is in contravention of the agreement signed between Sir Montague Eddy and Senor Miranda on 13th February, 1947, at the time of the transfer of the railways.

His Majesty's Government are following developments closely, and are by no means satisfied with the way in which the Argentine Government have so far treated their obligations. Further representations are therefore being made to the Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs on behalf of the British railways employees.

Will the hon. Gentleman inform the House of the results of those representations, and will he make it quite clear that in all parts of this House we do not assent to the Argentine Government's present behaviour?