HC Deb 04 December 1952 vol 508 cc184-5W
Mr. Llewellyn

asked the Secretary of State for War what information he has concerning three Welsh Guardsmen posted as absent who are reported to have sought political asylum in East Germany; and what steps are taken to impress on all ranks the penalties attaching to such conduct.

Mr. Head

Three Welsh Guardsmen were reported absent without leave on 13th October and subsequently there was a report by the East German News Agency that the men were in the Russian Zone. Inquiries have been made of the Russian authorities through military channels, but so far without result, and their presence in the Russian Zone is therefore unconfirmed. The matter is now being raised through diplomatic channels.

A local garrison order makes it clear that disciplinary action may be taken against any man who crosses into the Russian Zone. Moreover, every three months a list of court-martial convictions, in which crimes of desertion are included, is published as a deterrent throughout the British Army of the Rhine.