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Hms "Amethyst"

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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57.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many of the crew of H.M.S. "Amethyst" are still missing.

All officers and men serving in H.M.S. "Amethyst" at the time she was shelled on 20th April have now been accounted for. The House will also be interested to hear that two ratings who were in a China Mission Hospital which was subsequently taken over by the Communists have now returned to their ship. They have been well treated and are fully recovered from their wounds.

Will the Minister renew his assurance to keep the House fully informed if any new situation arises in connection with the position of the "Amethyst" or regarding the safety of the officers and men who remain on board?

When will the Minister be in a position to circulate much more detailed information concerning the deaths of the people on the "Amethyst" to the next-of-kin and relatives, who are anxious to know what happened?

As soon as possible, but I cannot say when that will be. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will put a Question down, I shall be glad to answer it.

May I ask my hon. Friend what is the position regarding the future of the "Amethyst," the condition of the remainder of the crew on board, and whether safe-conduct negotiations have been entered into with the Communist authorities with a view to returning the remainder of the crew to Hong Kong or some other British station?

The crew are perfectly all right. I would prefer to answer other Questions at a later date. I think it would make it easier for the men concerned if I postponed answering further questions.