HC Deb 08 March 1954 vol 524 cc1724-5
21. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further preparations have been made in respect of rehabilitation and relief in Korea; how far any preparatory attempts have been made to enable rehabilitation to operate in North Korea; and what facilities have been granted to private relief agencies to assist in rehabilitation and relief.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

The United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency is continuing its work of rehabilitation in the Republic of Korea, but the 1953–54 programme has been reduced from $130 million to $85 million. There is also large-scale bilateral aid to the Republic of Korea from the United States. No United Nations Agencies have been permitted to operate in North Korea. Private relief agencies are able to contribute gifts in kind and in currency, and personnel from various voluntary societies are assisting in relief work in the field.

Mr. Sorensen

Are we to take it from that reply that in fact no assistance is likely to be given—at least in the immediate future—to North Korea either in funds or personnel, and, further, that it would not be permissible for relief agencies to send personnel north of the 38th Parallel?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I would like notice of the second part of the question. With regard to the first part, the North Korean authorities will not admit the agencies to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is it not a fact that the United Nations Agency has offered to go north of the line 5 the North Korean Government will allow it to do so? Will the Under-Secretary of State perhaps arrange that the senior British member of the United Nations Agency, Sir Arthur Rucker, should give an account of this most important work to hon. Members?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I will see what I can do with regard to the suggestion in the second part of the right hon. Gentleman's supplementary. With regard to the first part, I think no one has been allowed to go North, as I said in reply to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Sorensen).