§ 3.45 p.m.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE FOR THE ROYAL NAVY (EARL JELLICOE)
My Lords, with your Lordships' permission I should like to repeat a Statement which has just been made in another place by my right honourable friend, the Minister of Defence for the Army. It is as follows:
"I should like to make a Statement about Major Macey and Driver Platt, who disappeared some weeks ago while serving with the United Nations Force in Cyprus.
"The House will be aware that enquiries have been going on in Cyprus into the whereabouts of Major Macey and Driver Platt. I regret to have to tell the House that information has now come to hand from which it appears virtually certain that the two men are no longer alive. During the past twenty-four hours this information has been communicated to the United Nations and to the Cyprus Government, and urgent investigations are in progress.
"I have taken the earliest opportunity of informing honourable Members of the position, and I will keep the House informed. For the time being, however, it is important that nothing should be said which might prejudice the course of the inquiries.
"We have been in touch with the next of kin early this morning, and the House will wish to join me in expressing our sympathy with them in their ordeal."
My Lords, that is my right honourable friend's Statement, and I am sure your Lordships will wish to be associated with that expression of sympathy.
§ LORD MORRISON OF LAMBETH
My Lords, I am sure the Statement which the noble Earl has made will have been received with deep sorrow by the House, with some feeling of emotion and of regret, and perhaps some degree of indignation, too. But the matter is now subject to inquiry by the United Nations, as the report has gone to them, and we all hope that arising from those inquiries some clear results will be achieved which will enable us to make proper judgment 393 of the matter as it develops. In the meantime, I am sure we should wish from this side of the House to be associated with the sympathy which is tendered to the relatives of these men who have met such an unhappy end.
§ LORD OGMORE
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friends and myself, I wish to express our regret at the information which has been given to us to-day by the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, and also to express our sympathy to the relatives of these men.