HC Deb 08 February 1951 vol 483 cc1924-5
40. Mr. Turton

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he has now received a reply to his communication to the United Kingdom High Commissioner in the Union of South Africa on the neglected state of the cemeteries and graves of Imperial troops who died in the South African War; and what arrangements are now being made for the proper maintenance of these cemeteries and graves.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The Union authorities have assured the High Commissioner that, whenever specific cases of neglect are brought to notice, steps will be taken through the existing organisations to put things in order.

Mr. Turton

Will the Prime Minister bear in mind that, in July, he was pressed on many sides about the very serious neglect of these cemeteries? Will he point this out to the Union of South Africa and ask them to take the necessary action?

The Prime Minister

The High Commissioner has taken up this matter. It is not a matter for the Union Government, but the responsibility of provincial administrators in regard to the maintenance work, and also of the South African Soldiers' Graves Association, who administer certain voluntary funds. There is also £8,000 invested with trustees in the Orange Free State. The hon. Member will therefore see that there are a large number of authorities. The High Commissioner has undertaken to look into the matter.