HC Deb 29 July 1942 vol 382 cc477-8
6. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government have in contemplation, as part of their post-war reconstruction plans, the establishment of an International Court of Justice, with compulsory jurisdiction to adjudicate upon differences which may arise amongst the peoples of the world and their rulers upon such questions as the interpretation of treaties, alliances, charters, revision of frontiers, and other similar international problems, as the preferable alternative to war?

4. Mr. Ivor Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has considered the recent speech by Mr. Cordell Hull; and whether His Majesty's Government supports the policy of an International Court of Justice, backed by an international police force.

Mr. Eden

His Majesty's Government are entirely in favour of the establishment, or re-establishment, after the war of an International Court of Justice, and have noted with much interest the references to this subject made by Mr. Cordell Hull in the course of his speech on 23rd July. The functions of such a court could not appropriately include certain of the matters referred to by the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger).

As regards the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. I. Thomas), as I have made plain on previous occasions, it is the view of His Majesty's Government that international authority after this war will require to be backed by international force. In this respect also, we are in entire agreement with the United States Secretary of State.

Mr. Bellenger

While I welcome my right hon. Friend's assurances, might I ask whether any definite steps are being taken now, in conjunction with the United States, and perhaps with other countries, to implement the desires which he has just expressed?

Mr. Eden

These things are being examined and discussed, as I think my hon. Friend will realise from the public speeches which are being made on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mr. Thorne

Does the right hon. Gentleman think it will be possible to reestablish the International Court of Justice at the Hague?

Mr. Eden

My hon. Friend will have observed that my language was guarded, of set purpose, on that subject.