HC Deb 07 June 1972 vol 838 c440
22. Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications whether he will now protest to the Soviet authorities and to the International Telecommunications Union concerning the cutting off of telephone communication from the United Kingdom to Vladimir Slepak and other Soviet Jewish scientists, in contravention of the International Telecommunication Convention.

Sir J. Eden

We would deplore any breach of the International Telecommunication Convention by any signatory but I regret I am not in a position to add to the answer I gave to the hon. and learned Member on 10th May.—[Vol. 836, c. 1292.]

Mr. Janner

Is the Minister aware that since I tabled this Question Mr. Slepak and his elder son have both been arrested and imprisoned, that their telephone remains cut off and that the Soviet authorities have said that if the prayer book—signed by 200 hon. Members, including the Minister—which was sent to the younger son had been sent by post it would have been confiscated, which it appears to have been anyway since it has not been returned? Will the Minister now protest at this interference with ordinary, civilised freedom of communication?

Sir J. Eden

The points to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has just referred me do not, as he knows, arise directly from the Question, which deals with telephonic communications. I should like to look further into the particular matters he has put to me about the prayer book. But I believe that this matter is involving the Foreign Office.