§ 20. Mr. T. Reid
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent he estimates that military Forces in excess of those allowed by the Peace Treaties are now being maintained in Hungary and Bulgaria; and what action he proposes to take.
§ Mr Bevin
With regard to Hungary, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Major Beamish) on Monday, 12th April. The Bulgarian Government have officially informed the United Nations that the total strength of the Bulgarian Armed Forces has been brought into conformity with the Peace Treaty requirements. I am endeavouring to verify this information.
§ 23 and 24. Major Tufton Beamish
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether the Soviet representatives in Bulgaria and Hungary have accepted His Majesty's Government's invitation to join in requesting the Governments of these two ex-enemy countries to provide full details regarding the strengths, training and equipment of all military and semi-military units and organisations in their respective countries and also the invitation to give similar details regarding such units and organisations composed of prisoners of war still retained by the Soviet Union;
(2) if he has now received information from the Roumanian Government regarding the strengths, training and equipment of all military and semi-military units and organisations in Roumania, as well as full details of the strengths, training and equipment of military and semi-military units and organisations composed of Roumanian prisoners of war still in the Soviet Union.
§ Mr. Bevin
The Soviet representatives in Bulgaria and Hungary were not in fact requested to join in asking these two ex-enemy Governments to provide details about their military strengths, as had been intended, because the Bulgarian Government published the strength of their armed forces, and the Hungarian Government gave His Majesty's Representative the information and assurance mentioned in the reply to the hon. and gallant Member on 12th April. Though 958 promised, no definite information has yet been received from the Roumanian Government. As regards the last parts of the two Questions, I have no knowledge of the prisoners of war of the three ex-enemy countries in the Soviet Union and have not sought it.
§ Major Beamish
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the figures he has given to the House for the armed forces' strength in these three countries are very likely a considerable under-estimate, and that a completely false picture is given by giving the figures for the armed forces in isolation from the figures of police and secret police forces in receipt of military training, or in isolation from the prisoners of war from these three countries who are now in the Soviet Union receiving military training?
§ Mr. Mack
In view of the fact that the Bulgarian Government have made a definite declaration that the strength of their armed forces is less than that permitted under the Peace Treaties, and that the matter is being investigated, is it nor vitiating the situation to cast unwarranted assumptions upon military police and others not concerned in the Question?
§ Major Beamish
I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.