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Control Commissions (Rumania, Hungary And Bulgaria)

Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will consider publishing a White Paper indicating the work carried out and the difficulties experienced by various British military missions retained in Rumania, Hungary and Yugoslavia pending the ratification of the treaty of peace with those countries; how far the work of the Allied Control Commission who supervise the execution of the terms of the armistice with these countries is effective; and what are the outstanding matters remaining unsettled to which these various missions attach particular importance.

I do not think that the work carried out by the British Military Missions in Rumania and Hungary if of sufficient general interest to warrant the expense involved in the publication of a White Paper. There is no British Military Mission in Yugoslavia, which is an Allied country, and there is of course, no question of a treaty of peace with her. In general, I consider that the Allied Control Commissions in Rumania and Hungary, and in Bulgaria, have accomplished useful work. I regret, however, to have to say that there have been many occasions on which justifiable requests by the British representatives on these Commissions have not met with the courteous response which His Majesty's Government were entitled to expect; and that instructions have on various occasions been issued by the Control Commissions on matters which directly affected the United Kingdom without the British representative being consulted in accordance with the Commission's statutes, or even informed beforehand.As regards the last part of the Question, the British Missions attach particular importance to the fact that the articles of the armistice agreements relating to the restoration of British legal rights and interests and the return of British property have not yet been fully implemented. The Rumanian Government have still to fulfil their obligations under article 14 of the armistice agreement by surrendering to His Majesty's Government four persons accused of war crimes. The British Missions regard as extremely unsatisfactory the large number of applications for entry permits into all these territories for British subjects which are refused by the Soviet authorities. In the majority of these cases the applicants are either representatives of British firms who wish to renew commercial relations, or private individuals who have compassionate reasons for their proposed visits to these countries.