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Yugoslav Detainees

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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16.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when Yugoslavs detained in Munster Lager who number approximately 100 are to be released and sent back to their displaced persons camp.

As my hon. Friend is aware, the Yugoslavs detained in Munster Lager are those accused by the Yugoslav Government of collaboration with the Axis Powers during the war. Their cases are still sub judice, and it would therefore, not be proper for me to forecast how many men will be released and how many handed over.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these men have been detained in what is tantamount to penal conditions for very nearly a year now? Can he please given an assurance that he will hurry a decision?

I could not agree that they have been detained in penal conditions. It is true that they have been detained longer than any of us would have liked, but this was an effort to see that just machinery was used. I have every hope there will be a rapid decision.

What machinery is there for investigating the cases of these men before the men are sent back to Yugoslavia?

It is exhaustive, meticulous, and in accord with the best British practices in the courts.

Is there any real difference between the charges made against these men and the charges made against Mr. Joyce and his friends in this country?

The case is sub judice, and no one more than my hon. Friend can appreciate why I cannot comment.

My right hon. Friend will observe, will he not, that I was not asking for any expression of opinion as to guilt or innocence, but whether the nature of the charges was the same?

I think these supplementaries are somewhat beyond the scope of the original Question.