HC Deb 10 May 1950 vol 475 cc382-3
59. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Hungarian Club at 33 Pembridge Square acts as the central organisation controlling Hungarian Communist propaganda in this country; and if he will now close it down as a reprisal for the Hungarian Government's action regarding the British Council, and for security reasons.

Mr. Ernest Davies

As I do not share the hon. and gallant Member's opinion of the Hungarian Club I can see no justification for action being taken to close it down. As I informed the hon. and gallant Member on 8th May, there has been retaliation for the action taken by the Hungarian Government against the British Council.

Major Beamish

Is the Under-Secretary aware that he is completely wrong in saying that, and that the Hungarian Institute, which he closed, was a non-existent organisation, which is proved by the fact that not a single employee of that organisation went back to Hungary when the Government insisted on its being closed? Will he look at this again and try not to make the Government look more foolish than it really is?

Mr. Davies

Since the hon and gallant Gentleman put his Question to me on Monday of this week I made inquiries about the activities that the Hungarian Institute was carrying on, and ascertained that it was carrying on activities which have now ceased.

Major Beamish

In that case, will the Under-Secretary say why not a single employee of the Institute has gone back, although the Government said that the employees should do so?

Mr. Davies

Because it happened that there was one Hungarian employee and some British employees.

Sir H. Williams

Is the hon. Gentleman sure he did not mix it up with the Hungaria Restaurant, in Haymarket?