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Burma (Chinese Nationalist Troops)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 5 July 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many Chinese Nationalist troops have been evacuated from Burmese soil in pursuance of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations; how many still remain; and whether the evacuation is still continuing.

I have received no report of further evacuation since my right hon. and learned Friend informed the House on 2nd June that 6,900 persons had been evacuated, including about 1,400 dependents. General Li Mi, the former commander of the troops in Burma, announced on 30th May that his headquarters had been disbanded because all the troops answering his orders had been evacuated. No further evacuation is in progress.

Am I right in understanding that the Committee set up at the request of the United Nations Assembly is still in existence, and that if further evacuations are required they will be carried out?

Yes, Sir. As I understand, under the resolution debated by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 8th December, 1953, it is primarily the responsibility of the Government of Burma to report on the situation to the General Assembly if they so desire.

Did the Foreign Minister of Burma, when in this country, say whether he was satisfied with the arrangements made?

I have no information on the point, but I will make inquiries and let the right hon. Gentleman know.

Is the Minister aware that the Parliamentary delegation which recently visited Burma was unanimously of the opinion that the evacuation of these troops had been of the greatest possible help in the matter of the restoration of law and order there—which is a British interest—and that a good many guerilla troops remained? Will he see that everything in our power is done to get them taken away?

Is there not a difference between the number evacuated and the number originally there? Will the Minister look into the matter and give us some figures at a later date?

I think that the estimate of 12,000 as the total number of K.M.T. in Burma was never sacrosanct. It has never been possible to make an accurate check as the troops included a considerable number of local adherents who either dispersed or reverted to banditry with the removal of the hard core of foreign troops.