HC Deb 04 April 1951 vol 486 cc188-9
19. Mr. Philips Price

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make representations to the United Nations to secure that agrarian reforms will be carried out by the United Nations Commission for Korea in that part of Korea now securely occupied by United Nations Forces.

Mr. H. Morrison

A land reform act was promulgated by the Republic of Korea on 26th June, 1949. Implementation was proceeding when the North Koreans invaded South Korea. When Seoul was reoccupied in September, 1950, by United Nations Forces, the South Korean National Assembly reaffirmed the land reform programme. While continued implementation is a matter for the South Korean Government, the United Nations Commission is at liberty to offer advice on this as on other problems.

Mr. Price

May we have an assurance that the Foreign Secretary will use his influence with the United Nations and, through them, with the United Nations Commission for Korea to see that agrarian reforms are carried out?

Mr. Morrison

My recollection is that we are not on the Commission, but I will certainly keep my hon. Friend's point in mind. He will appreciate that with the existing possibly fluid situation this is not too good a moment at which to follow this matter too actively.

Mr. Driberg

Is my right hon. Friend aware that intentions and programmes of land reform were repeatedly reaffirmed in South Korea throughout the five years after the war but were never carried out, by contrast with North Korea where, for all their faults, the North Koreans did carry out a very thorough programme of land reform? Will my right hon. Friend bear that in mind and do all he can to see that such reforms are carried out?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Henry Strauss

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that agrarian reform in Korea is a matter for the Government of the Republic of Korea under international law and for no one else?

Mr. Morrison

I will bear that in mind, too.