HC Deb 20 May 1953 vol 515 cc2068-9
43. Sir R. Acland

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has yet received further information about the recent attack upon Mr. Heap in Ubate, Colombia.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Yes, Sir. Her Majesty's Ambassador has confirmed that Mr. Heap's injuries were fortunately not serious. The Colombian Government informed Her Majesty's Ambassador on 18th May that the Governor of the Department concerned had given instructions that the investigation should be pursued with energy and speed. Numerous depositions have already been taken but it may be some little time before the investigation is completed.

Sir R. Acland

Could I ask the Minister a rather different question? From time to time complaints are made—and quite properly—about the ill-treatment of Christians, often Roman Catholic Christians, in other parts of the world. Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider putting to those who complain the whole sequence of events in Colombia? Many of us feel that this sequence could be brought to an end almost overnight if information was sent from the right quarter to that effect.

Mr. Lloyd

I think that the hon. Member may be being a little optimistic in that matter, but I will certainly consider his suggestion.

Captain Duncan

Can my right hon. and learned Friend say whether there is any suggestion of misbehaviour on the part of Mr. Heap, and, if not, will he do everything that is possible to see that the rights of British subjects in foreign countries are safeguarded?

Mr. Lloyd

We will certainly endeavour to do the latter. So far as the earlier part of the supplementary question is concerned, I think it is better to wait until we have the result of the investigation.