HC Deb 20 June 1955 vol 542 cc1008-9
9. Mr. Mott-Radclyffe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement regarding the imprisonment by the Polish authorities of a British sailor, Mr. George Lamport, who was arrested by the Polish police on the quay at Stettin on 24th May; what charges were brought against him; and whether any of Her Majesty's consular officers have been allowed access to him in prison.

Mr. Turton

The Polish Ministry for Foreign Affairs informed Her Majesty's Embassy at Warsaw on 3rd June that George Lamport, a British seaman serving on board a Norwegian vessel, had been arrested at Szczecin by the Polish police. He was stated to have been drunk and to have behaved in an insulting manner towards the frontier police.

The British Vice-Consul at Gdynia went to Szczecin on 4th June, but, in accordance with Polish procedure, was not permitted to visit Mr. Lamport, as the case against him had not then been formulated. Mr. Lamport has since been charged under Article 129 of the Penal Code with assaulting representatives of the frontier police, and the Vice-Consul is again applying for permission to visit him. He has also engaged a lawyer to defend Mr. Lamport. Her Majesty's Embassy at Warsaw has requested the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to expedite the proceedings against Mr. Lamport or else to release him.

Mr. Mott-Radelyffe

Can my hon. Friend explain why no notification was received by the British authorities of this arrest until 3rd June, when the arrest was made on the quay on 24th May?

Mr. Turton

I have no definite knowledge that the arrest took place on 24th May, although I have seen a report in the London Press to that effect, and, therefore, I cannot answer that question.