HC Deb 14 July 1948 vol 453 cc1174-5
11. Mr. Pickthorn

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply has been received from the Yugoslav Government about the abducted Greek children; and what further action His Majesty's Government contemplates.

Mr. Mayhew

His Majesty's Government are rightly concerned at the violation of human rights by the removal of Greek children against the wishes of their parents, but they have not themselves communicated with the Yugoslav Government on this matter. At the suggestion of the United Nations Balkans Committee, on which there is a United Kingdom representative, the Greek Government has asked Eastern European Governments for the immediate repatriation of these children. I understand that the Yugoslav reply to the Greek Government alleged that the children could only be returned to Greece after the internal troubles in that country had been settled.

Mr. Pickthorn

Was it not clear, before the question was put to the Yugoslav Government, that it had the approval of His Majesty's Government? What further steps do His Majesty's Government intend to take?

Mr. Mayhew

The reply to the first part of the supplementary question is, "Yes" The reply to the second part is that we shall take all the steps we can through the appropriate United Nations agency.

Mr. Warbey

Is not what really matters that these children should be in safe areas rather than in the midst of fighting?

Mr. Henry Strauss

Of all the horrors with which we are faced is not the abduction of these children among the most atrocious?

Mr. Mott-Radclyffe

Would the Minister confirm that, in the view of His Majesty's Government, the best place for the children is with their parents?

Mr. Mayhew

That is the view of the Government, and we made our views plain in support of the United Nations Commission.