HC Deb 11 December 1950 vol 482 cc811-2
62. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that South Korean police, on or about 6th December, shot without trial at Sariwon 56 political prisoners, most of whom died; and if, in view of the assurances received recently from the Korean authorities on the question of inhuman treatment of prisoners, he will make further and stronger representations.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Those responsible for this incident were North Korean guards and the incident occurred in North Korea. The question of representations to the Government of the Republic of Korea does not, therefore, arise. I have been assured that investigations are being made by the civil assistance authorities of the unified command who are doing their best to trace those responsible.

Mr. Driberg

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that he has not been misinformed in the first part of his answer, since the account which appeared in various newspapers was an eye-witness account from the Reuter correspondent who was on the spot at the time?

Mr. Davies

I am sorry if my hon. Friend misunderstood the first part of my answer; perhaps it was not clear. These North Korean guards were acting on behalf of the unified command—I think that should be made clear—and since then I understand that the American military police have now disarmed those responsible for this incident.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Does my hon. Friend agree that these incidents took place in North Korea, that, in that event, the Syngman Rhee Government would have no responsibility, as they are not exercising jurisdiction there, and that the responsibility would be that of the United Nations command?

Mr. Davies

Yes, that is correct. These North Korean guards were acting for the unified command in the action which took place.

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