Oral Answers to Questions — Austria and Germany (Detained British Personnel)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton 12:00 am, 24th October 1949

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many British soldiers are detained by the Soviet authorities in Germany and Austria, respectively; and for what periods and reasons they have been detained.

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Norfolk Southern

I understand that the Russians are holding, in Germany, nine of our soldiers and one member of the Women's Royal Army Corps, and, in Austria, two of our soldiers. As the details of the individual cases are varied and lengthy, I will, with permission circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Can my hon. Friend say to what extent he has been able to verify that any of these persons could reasonably be regarded as political refugees, or is that just an afterthought on the part of someone?

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Norfolk Southern

We have not been given facilities to verify in all cases. We have permission to interview this week one of these men who claimed to be a political refugee.

Following is the statement:

Names of the soldiers detained, and reasons given for detention. In each case the date of absence from his unit but not the exact date on which he was detained is available.

GERMANY

14709611, Private Kelly, F. W. J.

133 Parachute Field Ambulance. Absent January, 1946. No reason given.

14703832, Private Moncaster, N.

Royal Pioneer Corps. Absent May, 1947. No reason given.

6408481, Private Baker, A.

2nd South Staffs. Absent December, 1947. Soviet authorities acknowledge that he was detained, but no reason given.

220957, Private Stuart, J.

2nd Parachute Battalion. Absent August, 1949. According to the Soviet authorities he defected to them for political reasons; they have now given permission for him to be interviewed.

14935852, Private Crossley, W.

15 Base Ordinance Depot. Absent November, 1947. Soviet authorities acknowledge that he was detained, but no reason given.

14441181, Private Eggleton, D.

1st Manchester Regt. Absent October, 1947. Soviet authorities acknowledge that he was detained, but no reason given.

268386, Major Squires, R. J., R.A.E.C.

Absent September, 1947. Soviet authorities state that they have no trace of him.

14475679, Private Tyrell.

Queen's Royal Regiment. Absent November, 1948. No reason given.

T/ 166163, Corporal Garrick.

Absent September, 1948. No reason given.

200969 Corporal Schultz, A.

14 Battalion, W.R.A.C. Arrested by the Soviet Zone German Police while going to visit her mother, although she had a Russian permit. No answer received from the Soviet authorities about her.

AUSTRIA

22017561 Private Tyndall.

Northants Regiment.

19170697 Private Newsam.

Northants Regiment. Detained 27th September, 1949, by Austrian Gendarmerie and handed over to Russian authorities. Negotiations for their release are in train.