HC Deb 30 May 1951 vol 488 cc200-1
22. Mr. Pickthorn

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reports he receives from the United Nations Organisation about the return of Greek children from Yugoslavia; whether the Red Cross Societies desire any further help from the United Nations Organisation or from the Member States; how many children have now been repatriated; and how many now await repatriation.

Mr. H. Morrison

The whole question of the repatriation of Greek children from the countries to which they have been taken is being handled on behalf of the United Nations by the International Red Cross which, in turn, has entrusted operations in Yugoslavia to the Swedish Red Cross. I have no information that any request for further assistance has been made to the United Nations or to Member States. I understand that about 300 children have now been repatriated from Yugoslavia, but I am unaware how many remain to be repatriated to Greece. This is a matter which the Swedish Red Cross are still investigating.

Mr. Pickthorn

Are His Majesty's Government convinced that they have done everything possible to cause useful activity by all the organisations and authorities concerned, and, secondly, are they convinced that all these authorities and organisations are, in fact, doing everything that can be done?

Mr. Morrison

We are certainly doing all we can. I think that the organisations concerned are also doing all they can, and my own impression is that the Yugoslav Government are perfectly genuine in their wish to handle this problem sympathetically.

Mr. Mott-Radclyffe

Can the right hon. Gentleman say to what extent difficulties have arisen in tracing and identifying the parents in Greece of the children in Yugoslavia?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Gentleman has mentioned an important point. It is, of course, one of the major difficulties of the situation.

Mr. Grimond

Can the Minister say whether efforts are still proceeding to try and repatriate children in other countries in Eastern Europe and Greece?

Mr. Morrison

That is a question which would have to be put down on the Order Paper.