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Troops, Korea (Retention)

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 20 July 1954

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48.

asked the Prime Minister how far he intends to retain the members of our Forces in Korea until a political settlement is reached.

The time has not yet come to take a decision about the strength of the United Nations forces which must be retained in Korea in the immediate future.

Yes, but as a political settlement will take a very considerable time to effect, and as the Prime Minister has apparently set his heart on creating a substantial strategic reserve in the United Kingdom, is it not desirable that we should proceed now to bring some of our troops home?

What does all this mean? Why is the right hon. Gentleman saying in reply to all supplementary questions "I have nothing to add," instead of giving a direct reply to a simple question? Does it mean that he is evading the questions? Does he not wish to reply? Is he entitled to treat the House and hon. Members in this way?

I could not give a more direct reply to the Question of the right hon. Gentleman than that which I have given. He asked me:

"how far he intends to retain the members of our Forces in Korea until a political settlement is reached."
I replied that the time had not yet come to take a decision about that point.