HC Deb 21 March 1951 vol 485 cc2413-4
42. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why Sir Alvary Gascoigne has left Tokyo; why he did not have a farewell meeting with General MacArthur; whether he had a farewell meeting with the Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary of the Japanese Government; what was the date of his departure; and why his permanent departure from Tokyo was not announced by his Department until the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion, asked for information on the subject.

Mr. H. Morrison

Sir Alvary Gascoigne left Tokyo on 7th February on the expiry of his normal term of duty as United Kingdom Political Representative in Japan. Before he left, Sir A. Gascoigne had farewell interviews with General MacArthur and with the Japanese Prime Minister, who also holds the post of Foreign Minister. The Foreign Office do not normally give publicity to the movements, as distinct from the appointments, of His Majesty's representatives.

Mr. Teeling

In view of the fact that the Minister of State, at a very late hour on Thursday night, and about two minutes from the end of the Adjournment debate, said that Sir Alvary Gascoigne had not seen General MacArthur, will the right hon. Gentleman stress that that was a quite natural slip? Further, will he bear in mind the considerable anxiety felt by British subjects who now want to get into Japan—especially from Hong Kong—at the fact that there is now no British representative of Sir Alvary's standing there to try to induce S.C.A.P. not to be so strict and rigid about the number of people they are allowing to enter that country at present?

Mr. Morrison

I am glad to have the opportunity to clear up the misunderstanding, and I am grateful to the hon. Member. My hon. Friend the Minister of State informs me that he intended to say that Sir Alvary Gascoigne saw General MacArthur. He was not aware, until he saw the OFFICIAL REPORT, that he had been guilty of a slip of the tongue; and steps were immediately taken to correct the mistake. I understand there are British representatives in Tokyo who are available to people who require their services.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Is a British representative taking the place of Sir Alvary Gascoigne?

Mr. Morrison

That is under consideration. It is a point which should be and will be considered very carefully.

Mr. Paton

May I ask my right hon. Friend, if no appointment has been made in succession to Sir Alvary Gascoigne, who is carrying out his former duties in Tokyo? Also, can my right hon. Friend give the House any information about the future employment of Sir Alvary?

Mr. Morrison

The last point does not arise. In the meantime Mr. Clutton is acting in Tokyo, and is available.