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War Criminals

Volume 409: debated on Wednesday 11 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether action has been concerted among the United Nations to ensure the custody and punishment of the leading Nazi personalities, such as Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and Ribbentrop, after their capture, and to warn neutral countries that the granting of asylum to any or all of these criminals will be treated as an unfriendly act.

The Declaration on German Atrocities made at Moscow on 1st November, 1943, by the Prime Minister, President Roosevelt and Marshal Stalin laid down that the major enemy criminals whose offences had no particular geographical localisation would be punished by a joint decision of the Governments of the Allies. I cannot at this stage disclose the form which that decision will take. As regards the second part of the Question, neutral Governments have been warned that we should regard the grant of shelter or assistance to war criminals as a violation of the principles for which the United Nations are fighting. I have no doubt that neutral Governments are fully aware of the serious view which the Allies would take if war criminals were given asylum in neutral territory.