HC Deb 11 May 1953 vol 515 cc855-6
8. Sir D. Savory

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Reverend Samuel Heap, a missionary from Barnsley, Yorkshire, was severely injured when the Protestant congregation at Ubaté, Colombia, was attacked on Sunday, 12th April, and that when the mayor arrived upon the scene he informed the Protestants that if they did not leave the town that very day he would not be responsible for what might happen to them; and whether he has demanded from the Government of Colombia redress and full compensation for the injuries received by this British missionary.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Yes, Sir. As my hon. Friend informed the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg) on 4th May, Her Majesty's Ambassador has made strong representations to the Colombian Government in this case. The Colombian Government have now replied stating that the incident is being investigated.

Sir D. Savory

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that many details have come to light since the Question was put last week by the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg). Is he aware that the Protestant Meeting House was stoned for half an hour, that finally when the minister appeared the mob shouted, "This is the man that we are ordered to kill," that they attacked him and he was severely cut about the face and bruised? This is the culmination of the persecution of Protestants which has taken place under this clerical Government during the last three years. Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that 40 Protestants—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman seems to be giving information and not asking for it.

Sir D. Savory

I want to know if my right hon. and learned Friend has this information.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the Minister of State take active steps to see that Mr. Heap is adequately compensated?

Mr. Lloyd

In previous cases of this sort which have been brought to our attention we have taken energetic steps with the Colombian Government, and, on the whole, they have taken fairly strong action after the facts have been brought to their attention.