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Trial, Budapest

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether a British representative will be present as observer at the trial of Mr. Misteth, formerly Hungarian Minister of Reconstruction, and the remaining 43 accused members of the Smallholders and other parties.

Since the trial is likely to be long, it will not be practicable for a member of the British Political Mission in Budapest to attend throughout the proceedings. They will, however, be most carefully followed and reported to His Majesty's Government. The trial is open, and British newspapers and news agencies represented in Budapest will doubtless report the proceedings to the British public.

Is not the presence of an experienced observer, a man who is able to tell whether the witnesses have been drugged or not, essential?

Is it not a fact that in the People's Court where this trial will take place the presiding judge is a professional jurist, and that he is supported by representatives of all the political parties? Is it not also a fact that the whole Hungarian population regards this Court as fair and just?

Before my right hon. Friend answers that may I ask is it not highly undesirable that a judge should be supported by representatives of political parties?