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Volume 465: debated on Monday 23 May 1949

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Arms Supplies, Israel


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Czechoslovak Government, in contravention of the United Nations resolution placing an embargo on the sending of arms to Israel or the Arab countries, has permitted regular supplies of arms to be sent to Israel: and if he will have this matter raised in the United Nations with the object of instituting a full international investigation.

My right hon. Friend is aware that during the latter part of the year 1948 the Czechoslovak Government permitted considerable quantities of arms to be sent to Israel in contravention of the United Nations resolutions of 29th May and 15th July. Matters of dispute between the parties, such as this, are, however, probably best left at this stage to the United Nations Conciliation Commission, who have all the facts at their disposal.

What, if anything, are the United Nations Conciliation Commission doing about this matter? Is it not a shocking state of affairs when a member of the United Nations can flout a resolution of the United Nations in this way without being arraigned for it and without there being any investigation?

I do not think it would be helpful to go into all that now. The war has ceased and the Conciliation Commission should not be obstructed in their work of trying to bring the parties together.

Commercial Debts


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations have been made by His Majesty's Government to ensure the fulfilment by the Czechoslovak Government of Article 5 (b) of the Anglo- Czechoslovakian Agreement dated 1st November, 1945, Command Paper No. 6695.

Representations have been made to the Czechoslovak Government in this matter, both on behalf of individual British claimants and as regards the application of Czech property taxes to commercial debts. In this latter sphere the representations have had some success.

As this agreement is concluded and the article to which I have referred the hon. Gentleman is one which guarantees that all our debts shall be honoured in full, can the Minister say what action he has taken to prevent subsequent Czech nationalisation laws interfering with the agreement concluded by His Majesty's Government?

We are continuing representations on this point, but on the last subject I should need notice.