§ 11. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
asked the Minister of Defence how many Service men are still posted as deserters or missing in Korea.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan
All Service men formerly classified as missing have now been presumed dead for the reasons given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War in this House on 2nd November last year. I will let the hon. and gallant Member have as soon as possible the number of men still posted as deserters.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
In view of the fact that there are still a number of deserters who are posted as missing, will the right hon. Gentleman make it unnecessary for the next of kin to go to the court, as was the case only the other day, to ask leave to presume the death of a husband?
§ Mr. Macmillan
Yes, Sir. I think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows that there is a painful pull about what one ought to do. If one puts down a man as definitely dead too early, it is very painful and may be very difficult, but if we leave it too long there are other bad results. I think that in present circumstances we must try to act as the Secretary of State is doing and clear up the matter before posting these men as definitely killed.