§ 1. Mr. Stokes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the surrender of Mr. Vermehren, senior member of the German secret service in Turkey and his wife, the Countess Vermehren, was declined by the British authorities in Turkey early in 1943, with the result that they were at large for a further year before surrendering to the Americans.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)
The hon. Member is misinformed. Erich Vermehren went to Turkey at the end of 1942 as an assistant of the Assistant German Military Attaché in Istanbul. While associated with the German Secret Service in Turkey, he was never its head. According to his own statement, Vermehren decided in April, 1943, to go over to the Allies, but he took no actual step in this direction until he could get his wife out of Germany. His wife did not reach Turkey until December, 1943, and it was only in January, 1944, that they both handed themselves over to the British authorities—through the medium of the American authorities.
§ Mr. Stokes
Am I not right in saying that this surrender was offered to Colonel Gibson, the chief of the British Secret Service, and to Major Cribb, the assistant military attaché, who subsequently committed suicide? If that is so, why did they not report it to the British Ambassador?
§ Mr. Stokes
Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that this surrender was offered to Colonel Gibson and Major Cribb, and that they took no notice of it?