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Volume 411: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1945

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Laval (French Representations)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the Spanish Government has not yet handed over Laval as a war criminal; and will he make representations to the Spanish Government asking that this be done without delay.

This is a matter primarily between the French and Spanish Governments. His Majesty's Chargé ďAffaires at Madrid has, however, been instructed to support the representations of the French Representative to the effect that Laval should be handed over to the French authorities without delay.

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that Laval is probably one of the most contemptible figures thrown up by the war?

What exactly are our powers when war criminals and prominent Nazis seek asylum in nominally neutral countries?

I think that question hardly arises out of the case of Laval, who is not, technically, a war criminal. To be a war criminal he would have to be nominated by the French Government as a war criminal, and so far he has not been nominated.

Concentration Camps


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will publish the report of the representatives of His Majesty's Government who visited the concentration camps in Spain.

No representatives of His Majesty's Government have visited concentration camps in Spain.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there was a statement on this matter on the wireless yesterday; and, in view of the concern in this country over the atrocities in Buchenwald and Belsen, will he not arrange for representatives of His Majesty's Government to visit these camps?

I have quite a few responsibilities at the moment, but, mercifully, what is said on the wireless is not one of them. I doubt very much whether any useful purpose would be served at present by adopting the hon. Member's suggestion.

Would my right hon. Friend support the suggestion that there should be an international inspectorate to inspect all prisons?