HC Deb 05 March 1947 vol 434 cc456-7
14. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many imprisoned and exiled Greek trade union leaders have been released in accordance with the undertaking given by the Greek Government in November, 1946.

Mr. Mayhew

I understand that of the trades unionists whose release was sought by the trades unions from the Greek Government in fulfilment of their undertaking of November last, 15 have been released and that the release of a further 76 has been ordered. The majority of these persons had been arrested for reasons other than their trades union activities.

Mr. Warbey

In view of the delay of the Greek Government in carrying out their pledge, and of the further persecution of the Left, started yesterday, behind the backs of the United Nations Commission, will he make it clear that, in his view, the present Greek Government are unworthy to receive financial and military assistance from the United Nations?

Mr. Mayhew

I cannot, of course, admit all the implications in that question. On the other hand, I agree that the action of the Greek Government in relation to the release of trade unionists has been slow and unsatisfactory. I have asked our Ambassador to make renewed and urgent inquiries about the cause of the delay.

Mr. George Thomas

Would my hon. Friend say whether he has any information as to the number of these trade union leaders who are released, only to be arrested almost at once, and whether any of these people to his knowledge were included in the mass arrests made yesterday?

Mr. Mayhew

I have asked for the fullest information of the new arrests, and until it is forthcoming. I cannot answer that question.

Mr. Piekthorm

Will the Under-Secretary of State also ask for information about the murder of the wife of one and the daughter of another Populist M.P.?

Mr. Mayhew

I am aware of a recent case, but that is another question, and I shall need notice before I reply to it.