HC Deb 24 November 1955 vol 546 cc1647-8
45. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Prime Minister for what purpose our troops are being retained in Korea and Japan.

The Prime Minister (Sir Anthony Eden)

Our troops are in Korea in support of the policy of the United Nations. The Armistice which was signed in July, 1953, has not yet been followed by a political settlement, and the United Nations has still a part to play in Korea. Our troops in Japan form the administrative headquarters of the British Commonwealth Forces in Korea.

Mr. Shinwell

Does that Answer mean that our men are not to be returned to this country from Korea and Japan until there is a full political settlement in Korea? How long is that going to take?

The Prime Minister

No, I did not say that. It is a fact that this year we have reduced our forces there from 10,000 at the beginning of the year to 5,000 now. I should like, as, I imagine, all Members of the House would very much like, to see our forces finally withdrawn, but the right hon. Gentleman will recall that we went into this Korean business as part of the United Nations. Some token Commonwealth force will certainly, I imagine, be required by the United Nations to be there until we can get a settlement. It is fair to say that the armistice was not very easy to get, and that the Government played some part in getting it.