HC Deb 16 June 1953 vol 516 cc734-5
46. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will now make a statement on the appointment of the Korean Repatriation Commission to be set up under the terms of the agreement recently signed at Panmunjon.

The Prime Minister

In accordance with the agreement of 8th June for the exchange of prisoners of war, the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission is to consist of representatives of India, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This Commission will take charge of prisoners of war not directly repatriated. I understand that all five countries have formally indicated their willingness to serve on this Commission.

Mr. Henderson

Is it not a fact that, during the past 12 months, the main point at issue at Panmunjon was the question of the disposal of war prisoners, and that, during that period, President Rhee did not on any occasion signify his objection to a settlement of that problem and the question of a truce to follow? Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the delay in following up this agreement with a truce, accompanied as it has been by a flare-up of the fighting in Korea, is due to the intransigent attitude of President Rhee and his Government?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. The right hon. and learned Gentleman himself is just as well able to judge the answers to those questions as I am.