HC Deb 27 November 1950 vol 481 cc787-8
63. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is yet in a position to make any statement about the present situation of Captain Vyvyan Holt, His Majesty's Minister to South Korea.

65. Mr. Fisher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has any information regarding the British Minister, Bishop Cecil Cooper, the two English priests and Sister Clare who are missing in Korea.

Mr. Ernest Davies

I much regret that there is still no more news about Mr. Holt or the other British subjects missing in Korea. Inquiries are being continued both through the Unified Command and His Majesty's Charge d'Affaires in Korea. All possible means of obtaining information are being pursued.

Mr. Gammans

Can the Under-Secretary say on what date his Department last had any news of Captain Holt and whether they have any reason to believe that anything has happened to him since?

Mr. Davies

The only news which we considered to be definite was in a telegram on 21st July which informed us that he had been removed to a place of safety. All efforts have been made to trace him so far as has been within our power, but so far they have been unsuccessful.

Mr. Fisher

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that all the missing Korean priests, except two who were with the missing English priests, have been traced? As the English people are known to have been arrested, does he not think it likely that they have been moved over the Korean border into Manchuria and will he press at the highest possible diplomatic level for more information as to their welfare and whereabouts?

Mr. Davies

I have said that we are doing all we can in this matter through diplomatic and other sources. There is nothing more of which we are aware that we can do at present?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Did the suggestion that the British Minister had been removed to a place of safety apply also to Bishop Cecil Cooper?

Mr. Davies

We obtained similar information regarding him.

Mr. Eden

Has the Minister extended his inquiries in this matter beyond Korea, because it does seem that those with whose safety we are concerned can still be in that country?

Mr. Davies

Yes, Sir. As I informed the House some time ago, we made approaches through our Embassy in Moscow. We were informed by Mr. Gromyko that he was passing our inquiry to the North Koreans, but we have had no response to that inquiry.