§ 4.27 p.m.
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (THE EARL OF HOME)
My Lords, I have little to say about the Yemen to-day, and I should not have made a statement except for the fact that an Answer is being made in another place to a Question.
Our latest reports of the sixteen men held prisoner in the Yemen are that they are well housed and in good health. The United States Embassy at Taiz is in contact with them. Negotiations for the release of the prisoners are being carried on through the good offices of the United States Embassy at Taiz. These negotiations are in a delicate stage, and I should prefer not to go into details about them at this particular moment. I should, however, like to pay tribute to the members of the United States Foreign Service, both at Taiz and at Aden, who have been tireless in working for the release of the prisoners.
§ EARL ALEXANDER OF HILLSBOROUGH
My Lords, we are grateful to the Foreign Secretary for the statement; and in view of the language he 681 used I do not think it would be right to press things further on this matter to-day. I would just make this comment: that in the negotiations which are being done for us by the United States' representatives may I take it—and I think I can—that the Government, in the course of those negotiations, will express their regret over this accidental mistake in taking a wrong direction which caused the boundary infringement to take place? If that is so, if regret has been expressed, then that is the end of it.
My Lords, this is not the time to debate this matter, but I think that the House might put on record their appreciation of the good services and offices of the American people in that part of the world.
THE EARL OF HOME
My Lords, I am obliged to the House. In answer to the noble Earl, the Leader of the Opposition, I think the House will accept, and we all know, that this was a complete mistake and we have said that, as such, we greatly regret it.