HC Deb 04 April 1951 vol 486 cc181-2
11. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he is taking to secure the release of the s.s. "Mawai" and s.s. "Membau" detained in Sumatra; what was the pretext for their detention; and whether the Indonesian Government has been requested to pay compensation for this detention.

Mr. H. Morrison

His Majesty's Consul at Medan made immediate representations to the Governor of North Sumatra for the release of the s.s. "Mawai" and s.s. "Membau" as well as of six other British registered ships which were detained in Sumatra. Subsequently, His Majesty's Ambassador at Djakarta took the matter up with the Indonesian Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister. The "Mawai" and "Membau" have now been released.

The reason originally given for detention of these ships was their failure to comply with regulations requiring that they should call at the control port of Sabang. Subsequently, it was alleged that they were engaged in smuggling. I have not been informed that any claim for compensation has been submitted by the ships' owners.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In view of the fact that the two ships mentioned in the Question, in addition to six others disclosed by the right hon. Gentleman, were detained for a substantial period, can he now assure the House that any claim for compensation for the detention of these ships will be energetically supported by His Majesty's Government?

Mr. Morrison

No claim has yet been submitted by the ships' owners. If such a claim were submitted we would, of course, consider supporting it.

Sir Herbert Williams

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the ships were detained rather longer than Mr. Manley?