HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 cc598-9
11. Major Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Hungarian Government has announced the calling up of three age groups for military service, thereby raising their forces to a figure in excess of the 55,000 permitted under the Peace Treaty; and whether the permission of His Majesty's Government has yet been obtained to this increase of the permitted strength of the Hungarian armed forces.

Mr. Mayhew

Yes, Sir. The competent Hungarian authorities have informed His Majesty's Minister at Budapest that they have called up 20 per cent. of the 1929 class, that is, about 2,000 men; and that a corresponding number would be released a month later. Other classes were only required to register. The strength of the Hungarian land forces permitted by the Treaty is 65,000 men, not 55,000 as stated by the hon. and gallant Member. The Hungarian authorities have assured our Minister that the new call-up will leave the army well below the treaty limit.

Major Beamish

Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied with those assurances? Is he aware that many attempts have been made by the Hungarian Government to confuse the issue about these call-ups? Some statements have been made that the men are only having to register, and others are being made that they are actually being called up. Will he make sure that the 150,000 men in these three age groups will not be called up?

Mr. Mayhew

We have no evidence that the Hungarian Government are exceeding the limits permitted under the Treaty.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the hon. Gentleman say who are the competent authorities in Hungary, in view of the fact that that country is completely under the control of a foreign Power?