HC Deb 13 March 1961 vol 636 cc976-7
40. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the recruitment in this country through the Belgian Embassy of a military force to be sent to the Katanga Province of the Congo.

Mr. Heath

I am satisfied that the Belgian Embassy in London has not been recruiting for the Katanga, and no representations have been made.

Mr. Allaun

Was the Minister aware of this recruiting before it was reported in the Press? I think the right hon. Gentleman will admit that there was some admission about this by the Prime Minister last week, and if the Government knew about it why did they not stop it earlier? On the other hand, if they did not know about it, why not? Was M.I.5 asleep, or was it too busy chasing school teachers and students with Left-wing ideas?

Mr. Heath

As I said in my Answer that the Belgian Embassy has not been recruiting, so neither of the alternatives put forward by the hon. Gentleman apply.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Has the Lord Privy Seal not seen the reported account of the activities of the assistant military attaché, which has never been denied?

Mr. Heath

I have seen them and they have, indeed, been denied. If the right hon. Gentleman will read the account which I have here in the Daily Herald, he will see that it was an offer of service filled in by the gentleman concerned as a technical assistant for civilian employment.