HC Deb 30 January 1956 vol 548 cc592-3
17. Mr. Hyde

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress he has made towards securing financial compensation from the Government of Mexico in respect of the death of Mr. John Kealty, a British subject, who was murdered in Mexico in April, 1955, by an agent of the Mexican Government.

Lord John Hope

Her Majesty's Ambassador has been in constant touch with the Mexican authorities about this matter and has raised it with them twice during the present month, but they have not yet communicated their decison to him. I must point out that the hon. Member's description of Mr. Realty's assailant as" an agent of the Mexican Government" is incorrect. The man was in fact, a non-uniformed part-time" guardian of the peace" employed solely by the local district authorities.

Mr. Hyde

While thanking my hon. Friend for having arranged to ship back this man's effects to his parents—they have now arrived, after considerable delay —may I ask him whether he is aware that these effects included a camera inside which was found a partly-exposed roll of film? It is now too late to develop this film, which might otherwise have constituted an important piece of evidence against this man's assailant. Why did no one either at the embassy or consulate take the trouble to look inside the camera and have the film developed on the spot or hand it over to the Mexican authorities for that purpose?

Lord John Hope

I will look into that point, if I may. I did not know about it.

Mr. Smithers

Is my hon. Friend aware that for some time now there has been no Mexican ambassador in London with whom this matter could be discussed, although there has been a very able charge d'affaires? Will my hon. Friend convey to the Mexican Government the opinion of all friends of their country that the sooner they appoint a fresh ambassador here the better it will be?

Lord John Hope

I am sure that the authorities concerned will take note of what my hon. Friend has said, but I do not think that the absence of an ambassador here has been in any way responsible for the slowness in this case.

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