§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Prime Minister how many representations he has received since his appointment calling on the Government to press for the release of John McCarthy; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
We continue to receive a great many representations on behalf of John McCarthy. The plight of our citizens held hostage in Lebanon is high among our concerns and our efforts to secure their release remain unremitting. Hostage releases last year showed that Iran can exert decisive influence. The Iranians have undertaken publicly to use their humanitarian influence to achieve them to live up to this assurance. We are also urging Syria to continue its strenuous efforts to secure the release of western, including British, hostages in Lebanon.