HC Deb 14 February 1951 vol 484 cc386-7
25. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received from the United Nations organisation any further information about the repatriation of the Greek children from Yugoslavia.

28. Captain Ryder

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further information he has received from the United Nations organisation regarding the present whereabouts of Greek children who were kidnapped by Communist forces; and the action which is being taken to secure their repatriation.

Mr. Younger

I have received no reports from the United Nations since the adoption by the General Assembly on 1st December, 1950, of a resolution on this subject. A Swedish Red Cross Commission assisting the Yugoslav Red Cross in the repatriation of Greek children still in Yugoslavia announced on 27th January that a further 400 children would 'shortly be leaving Yugoslavia to join their parents in Greece. There is no favourable news of repatriation from countries within the Soviet orbit.

Mr. Grimond

Can the hon. Member say how many children have been released and how many remain in Yugoslavia?

Mr. Younger

It is exceedingly difficult to get precise figures. I think that a certain amount of repatriation that has not been fully registered on either side has taken place. I could not give the figure of how many have gone back to Greece.

Captain Ryder

Can the hon. Member tell us the total number of children still in captivity, and will he advise Marshal Tito that it is in his own interests that these children should be sent back?

Mr. Younger

We have left that Government in no doubt about our great interest in the matter. All I can say about the number in captivity—it is a rather vague answer—is that the original figure was given as about 28,000. That figure did not relate to Yugoslavia, but to all the other countries. There has been such difficulty in regard to identification and such lax registration that I cannot give a precise answer.

Mr. Somerville Hastings

Can my hon. Friend say, approximately, how many of the parents of these children are known?

Mr. Younger

No, Sir, I cannot give a figure. In a good many cases the parents are not known.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

Are the Red Cross organisations referred to having all the assistance they require from the Government of Yugoslavia?

Mr. Younger

Yes, Sir. I think that is the case. I have heard no complaints to the contrary.