§ 16. Mr. Piratin
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long Colonel Tassoev was kept at Hammersmith police station; did he ask at the police station to see the Soviet Consul or state who he was; and was he taken to any other place from the police station before leaving the country.
§ Mr. Ede
Colonel Tassoev was at Hammersmith police station from 6th May to 20th May, when he was returned to the Soviet authorities. During that period, he was not taken from the police station to any other place. The police knew who he was. As regards the remainder of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the replies which I gave last Thursday to my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) and the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher).
§ Mr. Piratin
Is the Home Secretary aware that the information which he has now given is at variance with what we have been told before, when he told us 2343 that this man was temporarily detained at Hammersmith police station, and that now he says he was there for 14 days? May I ask him why could not the Soviet authorities in this country have been informed that he was here and would be transferred to them?
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect that, last Thursday, he gave an undertaking to the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Nicholson) that he would get into touch with the Foreign Secretary to consider the desirability of publishing a connected statement about this affair? May I ask him if the Foreign Secretary has been consulted, and who we are to recommend for the Nobel Prize for fairy stories—the Foreign Secretary or the Home Secretary?
§ Mr. Godfrey Nicholson
Has the Foreign Secretary taken into consideration the suggestion which I made to him last Thursday? Is he aware of the very prejudicial effect which the mythical fairy stories concerning this episode have had in Soviet circles and the Red Army, and will he see that a connected account is widely published?
§ Mr. McGovern
May I ask if my right hon. Friend is aware that many persons in this country who are opposed to this individual still think that the Government story does not ring very well in the country, and is it not time that he made up a connected story to tell the country?
§ Mr. Piratin
Will the Home Secretary explain why the Soviet Embassy in this country could not be informed that a Soviet military citizen had been incarcerated for 14 days in a police station without a charge being made against him?