HC Deb 03 February 1947 vol 432 cc1381-2
31. Mr. John E. Haire

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware of the continuing deportation of Magyars from Slovakia; and, as this is in contravention of decisions recently taken at the Paris Peace Conference concerning this minority problem, if he will take steps to expedite the direct negotiations between the two countries.

Mr. Mayhew

As regards the first part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland (Mr. F. Willey) on 22nd January. As regards the second part, the compulsory transfer of Czech nationals within their own frontiers is not a contravention of Article 5 of the Hungarian Peace Treaty, to which I presume my hon. Friend refers. However, in view of the responsibility which may in certain circumstances fall upon the Council of Foreign Ministers in connection with the problem of Magyars remaining in Slovakia, my right hon. Friend is considering how best he can cooperate in promoting a settlement of these matters satisfactory to both parties.

Mr. Haire

Is my hon. Friend aware that even in this extreme weather these deportations are taking place daily and other people are fleeing in panic? Will he make some representations to the Czechoslovak Government to stop this inhuman and barbarous conduct on the part of the Slovak authorities pending the negotiations agreed on at Paris, or, alternatively, refer the matter to the United Nations as being one of urgency?

Mr. Mayhew

Without accepting all those implications, I have already stated that we are considering how best we can co-operate in getting a settlement.