not going to wait and have no withdrawals at all until these
figures are accurately ascertained. Therefore, the proposal
is that what is called a token withdrawal should take place,
of a comparatively small number, and that that number should
be equal on the two sides/3
MR. ATTLEE : " That is exactly what my point wasówhat
kind of amount is meant by a token withdrawal."
THE PRIME MINISTER: "I said a comparatively trifling
or small amount, but the number has not actually been fixed.
Supposing it was 5,000. I do not say it is, for a momentóit
may not be as many as thatóbut supposing it was 5,000
from either side, I do not think there is anything unfair in
that. The surplus of volunteers on one side would remain
exactly the same as before the withdrawals. The next question
of the right hon. Gentleman was whether, while this with-
drawal was taking place, it would be open to other Powers
to go on pouring arms and munitions or weapons into Spain.
Of course, anything of the kind would stultify the whole
procedure, and the proposal is this, to see that there shall be
no further intervention while withdrawals are taking place.
Anyhow, the Government would not consider an arrangement
at all satisfactory or acceptable which allowed further volun-
teers to be poured in while nominally we were withdrawing
troops already there.
" Several questions were asked by the right hon. Member
for Caithness (Sir. A. Sinclair). I am not going to answer all
his questions, because I put it to him, What is the use of
digging now into the past and giving figures of Italian troops
alleged to have been landed here or landed there ? But, as a
matter of fact, as far as I can make out, there is no official
confirmation of the landings of those troops which are alleged
to have landed in Spain. But, whether it was the fact or not,
if we are now going to get on with the business, there is no
useful purpose to be served by digging into the past. We want
to deal with the present and future rather than with the past.
" There is one point on which I do not want to forget to
say something, and that is in reply to various questions that have
been put to me? notably in the opening words of the hon.
Member who spoke last, who made an appeal on behalf of
the people of Gijon, a place which, according to the latest