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Peace Treaties (Ratification)

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when it is expected that the Peace Treaties, agreed on by the Great Powers, will be ratified.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give an approximate date when the Treaty of Peace with Finland will be ratified; and what steps he is taking to hasten this ratification.

His Majesty's Government are anxious to avoid further delay, and are discussing the matter with the other Governments concerned.

Which Governments are delaying, and what alleged reasons do they give for the delay?

The principal point is in the case of Italy. I think it would be in the best interests of Italy if she were to ratify the Treaty and clear up the technical state of war and allow normal relations to be resumed; but she apparently is holding back because she does not feel certain whether Soviet Russia would ratify the Treaty. I do not think that she ought to rely on that. Really, she ought to carry it out and, having signed it, to ratify it and then to allow the other Powers to try to bring these Treaties into operation.

As Finland is an entirely different case from Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, etc., because the United States had nothing whatever to do with it, why could not Russia and Great Britain come to a quicker answer?

I was endeavouring to get the ratification of all the Treaties deposited at the same time. In view of the difficulties that have arisen, I will take up the point which the hon. Gentleman has made.

What is the policy of His Majesty's Government in the case of such Treaties as those with Bulgaria and Rumania which contain guarantees for the liberties of the individual and which are being openly flouted at present by the Governments in power there; will His Majesty's Government consider delaying ratification until those Governments show some intention of honouring the terms of the Treaties?

No. I think that would be a mistake. It would just keep the thing open. The best thing to do is to get the Treaties ratified, then get the countries admitted to United Nations, and then bring the "human rights" clause into operation so that the whole thing can be ventilated in a public assembly.

How is it possible to ratify the Treaty with Italy until she carries out the obligations which she has undertaken towards South Tyrol and the Tyrolese population?