HC Deb 31 July 1963 vol 682 cc92-3W
102. Mrs. Castle

asked the Lord Privy Seal what report the United Nations have received from the International Red Cross, who have been asked to report on the condition of the wounded in the Yemen, regarding an Arab boy who has been brought to London by the Yemen Relief Committee for treatment for injuries alleged to have been caused by poison gas, and about whom a report has been made to the Red Cross.

Mr. Heath

A representative from the International Committee of the Red Cross has been asked to report to his Headquarters on the needs of the wounded in the Yemen. As far as I am aware, the United Nations do not expect to receive any report from the Red Cross. The representative was not asked to report on the boy who was brought to London, where adequate care was available. The doctors in charge of the boy's case announced their findings on 24th July.

103. Sir T. Beamish

asked the Lord Privy Seal on what date and in what terms the United Nations Secretary General stated his intention of investigating the alleged use of poison gas in the Yemen by the United Arab Republic; when the United Nations asked the permission of the Imam's Government to carry out these duties; when it was granted; when the United Nations observers began their investigations; what reports he has received; what evidence Her Majesty's Government has been able to give; and what conclusions it has drawn.

Mr. Heath

The United Nations Secretary-General announced on 12th July that he had given instructions on 7th July to the United Nations Yemen Observation Mission to investigate a Saudi Arabian complaint, received the same day, that gas had been used.

The United Nations does not recognise the Imam's Government and would not, therefore, make any formal approach to it, but I understand the Imam has said that he would welcome an investigation.

No report has yet been received from the United Nations and I therefore cannot say when investigations began.

So far as the material sent to Her Majesty's Government is concerned, investigations have so far shown no evidence of the use of any gas other than a form of tear gas.

105. Sir T. Beamish

asked the Lord Privy Seal what undertakings have been given to the United Nations by the United Arab Republic and the Saudi Arabian Government to bring the fighting in the Yemen to an end; to what extent these undertakings have been carried out; what action the United Nations has now taken to ensure that neither the Republican nor the Royalist forces in the Yemen receive reinforcements of men or materials by land, sea or air; and whether he is aware that while Saudi Arabian assistance to the Imam's forces has been insignificant or ceased altogether, United Arab Republic assistance has continued on a large scale.

Mr. Heath

The undertakings were set out in the Secretary-General's report of 29th April, copies of which are in the Library of the House.

We hope that the United Nations will publish a report on the work of their observation mission in the next few days. I understand that there are observers in the main port of Hodeida, as well as at Sana'a, the chief airport, and that patrols in the Saudi-Yemeni border area have recently begun.

I should prefer to see the United Nations report before commenting on the last part of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question.