asked the, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, if he is unable to procure the release of British wives from the U.S.S.R., he will offer to pay on their behalf the Soviet tax levied on them for childlessness.
No, Sir. While His Majesty's Government have every sympathy with the wives, if indeed they are called on to pay this tax, they could not undertake to pay it on their behalf.
Can the right hon. Gentleman take the opportunity to assure the House that he is still pressing for the release of these wives?
I must make a frank statement. I do not think there is a hope of getting them out.