HC Deb 24 November 1952 vol 508 cc18-9
34. Mr. Hollis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement concerning the negotiations with the Japanese Government on the legal status of British troops serving as members of the United Nations Forces in Japan.

Mr. Nutting

Negotiations are continuing. Her Majesty's Government, the Commonwealth Governments concerned and the United States Government are acting in full and complete accord and have left the Japanese Government in no doubt of their agreed view that the jurisdictional status of all United Nations Forces in Japan should be the same.

Mr. Hollis

Is it a fact, first, that there has been a recent further arrest of a British subject by the Japanese authorities and, second, that the Japanese Government have recently rejected the demands of the United Nations concerning the status of United Nations troops?

Mr. Nutting

It is true that last week the Japanese Government handed a memorandum to the United Nations ambassadors concerned to the effect that they rejected our view, but they have since withdrawn this memorandum and have agreed to reconsider the matter. It is true that a further arrest of a British subject has taken place and we are pressing the Japanese for his release.

Mr. Snow

Is it not a fact that the Japanese Government are affording United States soldiery much stronger legal status in Japan than is given to our own soldiers?

Mr. Nutting

That is a fact, and that is precisely what we are trying to remedy. The status of American Forces is laid down by the administrative agreement between the Government of the United States and Japan.

Mr. Younger

Can the hon. Gentleman say what it is that governs arrangements at present accepted by the Japanese Government? Is it the case, for instance, that the Japanese Government at present accepts arrangements comparable to those existing between the North Atlantic Treaty Powers, or is it something different?

Mr. Nutting

In the case of non-United States Forces in Japan the position is that the Japanese Government have no commitments as regards jurisdiction. It is that position we are seeking to remedy.