HC Deb 21 October 1942 vol 383 cc1943-4
5. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will comply with the Soviet Government's suggestion that the Nazi leader Hess be brought to trial immediately?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir. No such suggestion has been made by the Soviet Government to His Majesty's Government. In our judgment there is no cause to apply to Hess treatment other than that now being elaborated by the United Nations for dealing with war criminals, wherever they may be. Proposals for the establishment of a United Nations Commission for the investigation of War Crimes have been submitted to and accepted by the United States Government and all the Allied Governments now established in London. We still await the reply of the Soviet Government. I should perhaps add that from the moment of Hess's capture, which event as the House will recall took place on 10th May, 1941, and before Germany's attack upon Soviet Russia, Hess has been treated as a prisoner of war. There has never been nor can there be any question of treating him as an envoy or of giving him any form of diplomatic or privileged status. All concerned may rest assured of this.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not a fact that in the earlier part of the stages, after his arrest when he came over to England, he had a very comfortable berth somewhere in Surrey and was not in an internment camp then?

Mr. Eden

My hon. Friend will realise that his arrival was a trifle unexpected, and the arrangements had therefore to be improvised. The next time we shall be more ready and know what to do.

Mr. Driberg

Does he live under exactly the same conditions of comfort or discomfort as ordinary prisoners of war?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir, that is his status.

Mr. A. Edwards

If Hitler comes and seeks refuge over here, will he receive the same kind of protection?