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upon the good faith of the Italian Government. The right
hon. Gentleman is quite entitled to have his suspicions. All
I would say is that if in foreign affairs you are always going
to begin with the assumption that the other party is not
going to hold to anything that he promises, you will not make
much progress. In the present case it appears to me that what
happened yesterday is a full justification of the patience and
persistence which my right hon. Friend has shown during
these long drawn-out negotiations.
" The right hon. Gentleman asked one or two questions.
One of them was, in what proportion were these withdrawals
to take place, and he went on to say that if the proportions
were to be as man for man on both sides, that would be
grossly unfair to one side, and he specified which side. He
said it would be grossly unfair to the Spanish Government.
That, of course, is based on the assumption that there are far
more volunteers on the side of General Franco than on the
other side. What I would say, however, is that nobody
knows how many volunteers there are on either side."
MR. DALTON : " The secret service ought to know."
THE PRIME MINISTER : " I repeat that nobody knows how
many there are on either side. The first thing to do is to
ascertain the numbers, and if they can be ascertained by an
international Commission, as is proposed, then the proposal
is that the withdrawals shall be in the proportion of those
numbers as found on the two sides."
MR. ATTLEE : " That was not stated in the Italian Note.
Is the Commission to go on and make arrangements fora total
withdrawal ? The Italian suggestion was that first there should
be a withdrawal of man for man on each side, and what I was
asking was what would be the amount, because if I am correct,
or if the general reports are correct, there are four or five
times as many on the rebel side as on the Government side."
THE PRIME MINISTER : " That is the point that I was
coming to. Let us be quite clear. The ultimate proposal is
that all the volunteers should be withdrawn, and if that is so,
obviously there must be more on one side withdrawn than
on the other, if the numbers are greater on one side than on
the other. The only question, therefore, is what is to happen
in the meantime. It may take some time, and surely we are