HC Deb 27 July 1953 vol 518 cc860-1
3. Mr. Bottomley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present position concerning the retention in prison of Mr. Edgar Sanders by the Hungarian Government.

6. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further representations have been made to the Hungarian Government in regard to the continued imprisonment of Mr. Edgar Sanders; what reply has been received; and what further action he proposes to take.

The Minister of State (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

As soon as possible after the recent change of Government in Hungary, Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Budapest was instructed to raise the case of Mr. Sanders with the new Minister for Foreign Affairs. This was done on 17th July. The Minister undertook to consider it and I would prefer not to say anything more at present.

Mr. Bottomley

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the only positive action taken to secure the release of Mr. Sanders was the stopping of trade by the Labour Government? Can he give an assurance that the Conservative Government, in their anxiety to pass everything over to private enterprise have in no way relaxed the restrictions?

Mr. Lloyd

In answer to that rather provocative supplementary question, I would say that the Labour Government's action did not appear to be particularly successful.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to represent strongly to the Hungarian Government the great disappointment of Her Majesty's Government at the failure to include Edgar Sanders in the recent amnesty? Further, will he consider whether he should now make representations to Moscow direct because of the failure of the Hungarian Government to act?

Mr. Lloyd

I can assure the House that, quite irrespective of party considerations, the views of the House as a whole have been put to the Hungarian Government. In the meantime, we had better await the answer of their Foreign Minister.

Mr. Bottomley

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that his party have been the Government for two years and that they cannot constantly pass the buck?