HC Deb 19 May 1947 vol 437 cc1983-4
8. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to the arrest by the Soviet authorities of Brigadier W. R. N. Hinde in the British zone; if a formal protest has been made to the Soviet authorities; and if he will make a statement.


Mayhew: Brigadier Hinde is an ornithologist. On Sunday, 11th May, while bird watching with field glasses at a point near the boundary between the British sector of Berlin and the Soviet zone of Germany, he was approached by a Soviet patrol and requested to accompany them to their headquarters. At the Brigadier's suggestion the party went to the Soviet Kommandatura's Headquarters in Berlin where it was realised that a mistake had occurred. An apology was made and the Brigadier released.

Sir W. Smithers

Why is any British subject allowed to be arrested in the British zone; does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the only policy the Soviet understands is one that is forceful and strong; and will he see that strong protests are made against any such incidents in the future?

Mr. Mayhew

That seems to be a fantastic comment on this particular incident. An apology was made and the Brigadier was released.

Sir W. Smithers

Why was he ever arrested?