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Mr Edgar Sanders (Detention, Hungary)

Volume 497: debated on Monday 10 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has considered all the possibilities of taking discriminatory action against the Hungarian Government, such as requiring them to close their Legation in London, pending the release of Mr. Edgar Sanders.

As I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. H. Nicholls) on 20th February, Her Majesty's Government will not overlook any suitable means of putting further pressure on the Hungarian Government to release Mr. Sanders. But I am not satisfied that the action advocated in the Question would have the desired result.

Is my hon. Friend aware that that reply, which was perhaps not unexpected, is rather disappointing, in view of the success which crowned the efforts of the United States State Department in getting their man back? Will my hon. Friend ask his right hon. Friend to regard this matter as of very great importance?

We certainly regard it as a matter of great importance, affecting our relations with Hungary. As to the success of the American State Department in getting Mr. Vogeler released, my hon. Friend will recall that I told my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough that this was done because the United States were in a position to offer certain concessions regarding the re-opening of the Hungarian consulates in America which would not apply in this country.