§ The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:
§ 43. Mr. ARTHUR HENDERSON: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the Korean situation.
§ Mr. Eden
I should like, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, to answer Question No. 43.
Since my last statement on Korea on the 27th November, the main developments have been the approval by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly of the United Nations of the Indian plan for solving the prisoner-of-war question and its rejection by the Chinese and North Koreans.
206 The Indian plan gave all concerned the best possible chance to reach agreement on the one outstanding difficulty. Its rejection by Soviet Russia and subsequently by the Chinese People's Government and the North Koreans is therefore to be deeply deplored. As a consequence we have again to defer hopes of an early armistice.
In the face of these developments the policy of Her Majesty's Government remains unchanged. We shall continue our support of the United Nations resistance to aggression, we stand by the principles we have professed and Her Majesty's Government will also continue to seek an early armistice on honourable terms.
§ Mr. A. Henderson
Does the Foreign Secretary know of any discussions that have taken place between the Government of India and the Peking Government? It was suggested earlier that the Government of India might seek to make contact with the Government of Peking with a view to discussing the Indian plan. If these discussions have taken or are taking place, will the Foreign Secretary say whether there has been any progress?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Has the attention of the Foreign Secretary been drawn to a very important statement by Mao Tsetung that he had rejected the Indian proposal because it was in violation of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War? Since misleading statements of that kind have been made in organs of opinion in this country, will the Foreign Secretary take steps to have some authoritative declaration of the meaning of the Geneva Convention of 1949 made plain to the world?
§ Mr. Alport
Has my right hon. Friend seen any report of the investigations made by the United Nations Command into the Taeju incident last October?
§ Mr. Eden
A report has been received by the United States Government and is on its way to us by air at the moment from Washington. I have received a summary of it and that is a11. In due 207 course I hope to be able, perhaps in a White Paper, to give some further information to the House on that subject.
§ Mr. Usborne
The Foreign Secretary said in his statement that Her Majesty's Government still stood behind the objective of the United Nations in opposing aggression. When in June, 1950, we went into the Korean conflict I understood then that the United Nations had twin objectives. One was to oppose aggression and the other was to achieve the unification and independence of all Korea. May I ask whether we now stand behind the second of those objectives or whether we have now abandoned it?
§ Mr. Usborne
Is it the objective of the British Government to continue in Korea until all Korea is united and independent?