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Danish Population, South Schleswig

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking in the contractual arrangements now being negotiated with the Federal Government of Western Germany to obtain a guarantee in the Kiel Agreement for the protection of Danish schools and equality of rights between the native Danish population and the Germans in South Slesvig.

None, Sir. The Kiel Declaration will remain unaffected by the conclusion of the contractual agreements, and is not a subject which could be included in them.

Is my right hon. and learned Friend not aware the whole Danish population demands that the Kiel Agreement should be guaranteed? They demand that 80 Danish schools should be upheld, and they fear that they will not be maintained unless we protect them.

The Kiel Declaration is a unilateral declaration by the Provincial Government of Schleswig-Holstein supplementing the guarantee of minority rights given in the basic law of the Federal Republic, and referring to the rights of Danish sympathisers in Schleswig-Holstein. Neither the Government nor any of the other Occupying Powers are parties to it.

Did not the British Commissioner preside over the deliberations? Is it not a contractual obligation between the Germans and Danes in Schleswig-Holstein which must be incorporated in the Treaty?

Arising out of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's answer, may I ask if the majority of the inhabitants of Derry are guaranteed their rights, and protection against attacks by the Northern Ireland police?