HC Deb 02 July 1958 vol 590 cc1315-6
24. Mr. Hyde

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he has about the expulsion by the Czechoslovak authorities of the Second Secretary at Her Majesty's Embassy in Prague; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

On 3rd April, Mr. Bedford attempted to smuggle a Czechoslovak national, Mr. Machacek, out of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak authorities declared Mr. Bedford persona non grata on 4th April. The circumstances surrounding the discovery of Mr. Machacek in the boot of Mr. Bedford's car at the Czechoslovak frontier make it clear that the whole affair was a prepared trap. The subsequent charges of espionage only recently made against Mr. Bedford are unfounded.

Mr. Hyde

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that his Answer will give great satisfaction in this country to those who are interested in British-Czechoslovak relations? Will he give the strongest repudiation to the suggestions that Mr. Bedford received money for his attempted smuggling feat and that he was engaged in espionage activities?

Mr. Lloyd

I think I have already covered the point about espionage. We have no evidence at all that Mr. Bedford received money.

Mr. Bevan

If any effort is to be made on behalf of people wishing to escape in the boots of cars, might they not consult M. Soustelle?

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