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Field-Marshal Manstein (Defence)

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that lawyers defending Field-Marshal Manstein applied to him by letter of 10th June for documents now in the United States of America for use in the defence; and whether he can state the date by which all those documents will be made available and where.

As I have no control over the custodians of the documents if they are in the United States of America, I cannot say when they will be received, but, subject to their availability, no time will be lost in producing them for inspection by German counsel.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the counsel have asked for at least three weeks' margin between the time they receive the documents and the time the trial takes place, and in view of his assurance that full time will be allowed will he assure the House that that period at least will be given?

We place no obstacle in the way of German counsel obtaining these documents. On the whole, we have treated them very reasonably.

That does not answer by question. Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that if there is delay in supplying these documents, which are essential and at present are not very conveniently placed, the trial will be put off until a reasonable time has been allowed for their study?

Advantage might be taken of such delays, and we must bring this person to trial.

In view of the fact that my Question which was a perfectly simple one has not been answered I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment, as soon as possible.