HC Deb 08 February 1954 vol 523 c820
29. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the United Nations Command in Korea in formed the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission that they would not co-operate in the court-martial of Korean and Chinese non-repatriates charged with murder.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Up to 20th January, 1954, the United Nations Command willingly co-operated with the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in these proceedings and produced witnesses and defence counsel. After that date a more complicated legal position arose.

The United Nations Command view, which Her Majesty's Government in the U.K. support, was that after 23rd January, at all events, it had no right further to detain in custody any of the former prisoners of war whom it had previously released to the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission. It therefore could not agree to hold the 449 witnesses, as requested.

Mr. Henderson

What will happen to the non-repatriates in view of the fact that the Indian custodian force is apparently to return to India on 21st February?

Mr. Lloyd

I cannot say what will happen to them. The matter is under discussion.