§ 33. Mr. A. Henderson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a further statement on the proposals for rescreening prisoners of war in Korea.
§ Mr. Henderson
In view of the widespread concern over the original screening, would not the right hon. Gentleman recommend that a rescreening should take place without delay on the basis that all prisoners of war—the 70,000 in question—should be repatriated at the proper time, except those who express the desire not to be returned for fear of political persecution?
§ Mr. Eden
I think I dealt with that in answer to a supplementary question by the right hon. and learned Gentleman last week. The position is that so far any question of rescreening has been rejected by the Communist authorities. As I said last week, if the only question were between rescreening now and after the armistice, I would personally be ready to agree to the rescreening now, but it would have to be on the understanding that the result of that rescreening would be accepted. These are matters which we are discussing with the United States Government, and they are somewhat delicate at this stage. Therefore, I hope that the House will not press me further at this time.
§ Mr. Chetwynd
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what are the objections to immediate rescreening, because in the opinion of most people this would facilitate further progress with the truce talks?
§ 35. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the possible acceptability of representatives of India and of Pakistan by the Chinese Government, if Her Majesty's Government will consider proposing to the United Nations that representatives of the Indian and Pakistan Governments should take part in the rescreening of prisoners of war in Koje Island by non-participants in Korean military operations.
§ Mr. Sorensen
While recognising the delicacy of these negotiations, can we at least have an assurance that the right hon. Gentleman will bear in mind the value of the representatives of these two countries in view of their acceptability to China at the present time?