HC Deb 04 December 1950 vol 482 cc26-8
59. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further information he has received from the United Nations organisation as to the instructions which have been given to General MacArthur by the United Nations concerning the conduct of the campaign in Korea.

62. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what instructions have been given to General MacArthur as to bombing Chinese aerodromes, guns or other military concentrations from or by which the Forces of the United Nations are being attacked.

Mr. Ernest Davies

As my right hon. Friend said in the foreign affairs debate, the objectives of General MacArthur are no more and no less than the objectives of the United Nations.

Mr. Rankin

Is my hon. Friend aware that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence, speaking yesterday, said that General MacArthur went beyond the objectives which we understood to be the objectives at the beginning of the affair? In that event, could my hon. Friend say what were those objectives to which the Minister of Defence refers? Who laid down those objectives and, if those objectives were changed, who changed them? If they were changed, were they changed with the approval of His Majesty's Government?

Mr. Davies

It is not for me to comment on the speeches of right hon. colleagues of mine—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—but in reply to the questions which have been put by my hon. Friend—

Mr. Rankin

On a point of order. May I make it clear, Sir, that I am not seeking to inveigle my hon. Friend into any difficulties with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence.

Mr. Davies

I hasten to reassure my hon. Friend that I was not taking offence in this matter in any way and that I was just about to reply to the questions he has put to me. I was going to say that the directives under which General MacArthur was operating in Korea are those which have been laid down by the United Nations. The actions he took in the first instance were under the Security Council Resolution of 7th July. On 7th October a Resolution was passed by the General Assembly and, subsequently, he has been acting in accordance with that Resolution.

Mr. Eden

In view of these questions I want only to make this clear—and it is of some importance. Am I right in thinking that the hon. Gentleman has confirmed the statement which the Foreign Secretary made, that all General MacArthur's actions have been in accordance with directives issued by the United Nations? Is that correct?

Mr. Davies

Yes, Sir. I give that complete assurance to the House.

Mr. Keeling

Does the Under-Secretary agree with "The Times" of today that everything depends on whether we can hold a line in Korea? Does he also agree that no troops can be expected to hold a line if they are required to submit to Chinese attack without being allowed to hit back at Chinese bases?

Mr. Davies

No, Sir. I cannot possibly comment in this House on the military situation in Korea.

Mr. Henry Strauss

Can the hon. Gentleman ensure that the answers he has given this afternoon will receive as much publicity abroad, as did the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Defence?

Mr. Rankin

Will my hon. Friend make one point perfectly clear? The Minister of Defence said that "we understood" what the objectives were. Are they not made clear? Are we not told precisely what the objectives are? Are we merely left to "understand"?

Mr. Davies

The objectives of the United Nations in repelling aggression in Korea are laid down in the Resolutions to which I have referred. These Resolutions are published in a White Paper on Korea which can be obtained in the Vote Office, and I suggest that my hon. Friend should obtain a copy of it.

Squadron Leader Burden

Will the Under-Secretary of State ensure that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence is provided—

Mr. Speaker rose.

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