HC Deb 26 May 1952 vol 501 cc917-8
8. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for foreign Affairs if he will request the United Nations Organisation to appoint a mission of investigation to inquire into, and report upon, the use of bacteria in the Korean war.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

No, Sir. The United Nations Command have already offered facilities for an impartial investigation by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Communists have, however, rejected the offer of any such investigation.

Mr. Rankin

Would not the right hon. and learned Gentleman have another look at this matter? Does he not think that our position should be made very clear indeed to the world? In view of the fact that the United States have used the atomic bomb, that the United Nations are now using the napalm bomb, is there any reason on the face of it to assume that the line would be drawn at infected fleas or powdered toxins?

Mr. Lloyd

Her Majesty's Government are satisfied with the assurances on this matter given by the Government of the United States. So far as investigation is concerned, we do not consider there can be a better body to investigate these charges than the International Committee of the Red Cross. In those circumstances, it seems to me that it should be the Communists who should have another look at the matter.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is the Minister aware that in the American magazine "News-Week" there appeared a news item last week that the American Army is asking for an appropriation of 17,197,000 dollars for expanding bateriological warfare research in America? Does he not think that the United Nations should be called upon to investigate why this expansion is necessary?

Mr. Lloyd

I am not responsible for what may appear in American magazines, but research in these matters may very well include protective measures against their possible use by others. If only we could have less obstruction in the Disarmament Commission it might be possible to get on with considering these matters.

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