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War Criminals (Punishment)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what Department or organisation in this country is compiling a record of war criminals?

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Isle of Wight (Captain P. Macdonald) on 16th December last.

Will my right hon. Friend give those Members who so desire an opportunity of inspecting these records?


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will consider the urgent need for a United Nations broadcast to Germany for several hours daily and for 30 consecutive days reaffirming the declaration of 17th December, so that it will become known throughout Europe that every person guilty of taking any, part in the torture and death of Jews and other citizens of occupied countries will be punished by hanging and that long terms of penal servitude will be imposed for the ill-treatment of innocent victims of Nazi tyranny and cruelty?

The Allied declaration of 17th December is already being given, in broadcasts to Europe and in leaflets in Germany, all the publicity that the limitations of time and technical facilities permit. A great deal of time has been devoted to it in all languages. Steps have also been, and will continue to be, taken to warn the Nazis and their accomplices that those responsible for the commission of such war crimes will be strictly punished.

Has my right hon. Friend any evidence that the rank and file of those in the German forces have any knowledge of the declaration of 17th December, and does he not consider that the suggestion in this Question would provide a very practical means of helping people who are in a fortress when we cannot get them out?

Of course, it is difficult for me to say how much of this information gets through to what my hon. Friend calls the rank and file in Germany, but I am satisfied that we are doing what we can to see that it does.

As the Jews are the only people who are selected by the Germans for propaganda, might not the Jews be given opportunities for broadcasts themselves in reply?

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that our broadcasts to Germany are listened-to to a sufficient extent to make this course worth while?

It is not, as my hon. and gallant Friend will understand if he reads the answer, a question only of broadcasts. Other methods are employed as well.

Does not my right hon. Friend think that broadcasts are worth while if they save any lives at all?