Monday, July 21, 2008

Documents that concern the Greek Abducted Children Issue



261 - Letter to the Vice President on the Need for Repatriating Displaced Greek Children.September 29th, 1950

Dear Mr. Vice President:

I know that all Americans share the Senate's humanitarian concern for the thousands of Greek children removed from Greece during the guerrilla warfare and now being held in eastern Europe. Freedom-loving people throughout the world are repelled by the inhumanity embodied in the unjustified retention of these innocent children far from their parents and their native land.
The Executive Branch has exerted and will continue to exert every feasible effort to encourage the repatriation of these children. I am certain that the United Nations has been encouraged in its efforts to effect the children's return by the Senate's deep and sympathetic concern as expressed in S. Res. 212 on September 13, 1950.Very sincerely yours,

[Honorable Albert W. Barkley, Vice President of the United States, Washington, D.C.]
Note: S. Res. 212 is printed in the Congressional Record (vol. 96, p. 14667).


June 28 1950
Lords Sitting : ABDUCTED GREEK CHILDREN§ 2.40 p.m.

My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask whether His Majesty's Government have made representations, either directly or through the United Nations, to urge the return of the Greek children abducted from their homes by the Governments of certain countries neighbouring on Greece and whether they will undertake to vote against the admission of any of those countries to the United Nations until full reparation, including the return of the children, has been made for this hideous crime.]

My Lords, at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 and 1949 the United Kingdom representative supported resolutions urging the States concerned to assist the International Red Cross in the repatriation of these children, and the International Red Cross have been and are continuing their most praiseworthy efforts to put right this tragic situation. With regard to the second part 1130 of the Question, it is the view of His Majesty's Government that the veto should not me used in the Security Council in connection with the admission of new members. It is most unlikely, however, that States which are violating resolutions of the United Nations would command the necessary majority to secure their admission.

My Lords, I am obliged to my noble and learned friend for his reply, but I should be glad if he could tell the House more particularly what measure of success has been achieved by the Red Cross in returning these unhappy children to their homes. I certainly hope that the Government will consider most carefully whether they will do anything to facilitate the entry into the United Nations of countries which have openly and arrogantly set at nought all the representations that have been made by the United Nations Assembly.

My Lords, I wish I could give the noble Viscount some news which was more comforting to him and to me. I cannot. The exact number of Greek children removed from Greece by the Greek guerillas during the recent rebellion is not, of course, known, but it is generally supposed that the total is somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000. Applications for the repatriation of 9,500 Greek children have been forwarded by the Greek Red Cross to the International Red Cross, but so far not one child has been returned to Greece. About twenty Greek children have recently left Yugoslavia to join their parents who are now in Australia, and His Majesty's Government earnestly hope that the resumption of full diplomatic relations between Greece and Yugoslavia will lead to a settlement of all problems between the two countries, including particularly this problem.

My Lords, that practically amounts to this: that the efforts of the Red Cross have been totally unsuccessful. They have not succeeded in getting one single child back to its home. In those circumstances, I venture to press upon the Government the necessity of taking this matter very seriously and really trying to wipe off the face of Europe the shocking crimes that are being committed in this way.

§ THE LORD CHANCELLORMy Lords, I can assure the noble Viscount that there is no need to press His Majesty's Government to take this matter seriously. This is a matter which must shock the mind and conscience of any decent citizen.

Section citation: HL Deb 28 June 1950 vol 167 cc1129-31.

1 comment:

  1. What a sad period of history. Thank God communist Yugoslavia and USSR no longer exist.


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