HC Deb 10 February 1960 vol 617 cc457-8
30. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what compensation has been paid by the Guatemalan Government in respect of the bombing of the British steamer "Springfjord" on 27th June, 1954.

Mr. R. Allan

Although Her Majesty's Government have repeatedly pressed the Guatemalan Government to meet this obligation, no compensation has so far been paid.

Mr. Lipton

Is not this a lamentable state of affairs? I do not want to appear unduly impatient, but is the hon. Gentleman aware that when I raised this matter in the House on 8th November, 1954, Sir Anthony Eden, who was then the Foreign Secretary, said that the Guatemalan Government were prepared to discuss payment, and he added: I think that is a step forward. If everything went like that, I should not have so much cause for complain."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th November, 1954: Vol. 532, c. 847.] Does not the hon. Gentleman think that those who are interested in the matter have cause for complaint, and when are the Government going to activate themselves in this connection?

Mr. Allan

At one time the Guatemalan Government intimated that they would be prepared to pay some compensation, but the amount they offered was totally unacceptable to the claimants.

Mr. Lipton

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply—I do not want to have to wait another six years—I give notice that I propose to raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.