§ Mr. Silverman
(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the recent enemy occupation of Hungary and the rapid march of events in the Balkans, he has any statement to make with reference to the urgent and immediate peril which now threatens Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution in those countries.
§ Mr. Eden
Yes, Sir. My hon. Friend will have taken note of the statement 1562 made on 24th March by President Roosevelt on the subject of his Question, and of the fact that His Majesty's Government at once wholeheartedly associated themselves with the United States Government in this matter. Further action is now under discussion between the United States Government and His Majesty's Government and I wish now to take this opportunity of making, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration: Evidence continues to reach His Majesty's Government and Allied Governments, that the Nazi policy of extermination has not been 'halted. The persecution of the Jews has in particular been of unexampled horror and intensity. On this His Majesty's Government in common with their Allies, now that the hour of Germany's defeat grows ever nearer and more certain, can only repeat their detestation of Germany's crimes and their detenrnination that all those guilty of them shall be brought to justice. But apart from direct guilt there is still indirect participation in crime. Satellite Governments who expel citizens to destinations named by Berlin must know that such actions are tantamount to assisting in inhuman persecution or slaughter. This will not be forgotten when the inevitable defeat of the arch-enemy of Europe comes about.
Happily there are individuals and even official authorities among the satellites who have resisted the evil German example and have shown toleration and mercy. These things are known to the Allies, and in the hope of encouraging such good deeds and increasing their number His Majesty's Government are concerned to make it clear that those who have followed the right path will also not be forgotten in the day of final reckoning. The time of respite is short, but there is still opportunity for the merciful to multiply their acts of humanity, for the guilty to try to make amends for their deeds of shame by releasing their victims and making, so far as is possible, restitution to them. His Majesty's Government are confident that they are expressing the sentiments of all the Allied Governments in calling upon the countries allied with or subject to Germany to join in preventing further persecution and co-operate in protecting and saving the innocent. His Majesty's Government, for their part, are firmly resolved to continue, in co-opera- 1563 tion with all Governments and private authorities concerned, to rescue and maintain so far as lies in their power all those menaced by the Nazi terror.
§ Mr. Silverman
May I, while thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his full and extremely effective reply, add that it makes, in my view, supplementary questions unnecessary?
Will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that the very important statement he has made is given the widest publicity in all enemy and enemy occupied countries, and among their satellites, and not least among the Slovaks, whose attitude has been extremely unsatisfactory, so that the message may be read by the people and not only by the Governments, possibly by leaflet as well as by radio?
§ Mr. Hammersley
May I ask my right hon. Friend, arising out of that very satisfactory reply, whether His Majesty's Government will afford every facility to persecuted Jews to enter Palestine within the limit of the existing quota, and will everything be done to assist in that direction?
§ Mr. Gallacher
In view of the very great importance of this statement, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will not see that an example is set by vigorous action against anti Semites in this country?
§ Mr. Mack
While I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his statement, which has given much relief to hon. Members on all sides of the House, will he bear in mind that, whilst appreciating the action taken up to now by His Majesty's Government, a more practical and more effective method would be to facilitate as many of these unfortunate people getting into Palestine as possible? May I ask him to bear in mind that a number of those persecuted people to whom he refers are now interned in Mauritius and cannot get there?
§ Mr. Eden
I do not think my hon. Friend is correct. The difficulty in respect to Palestine is not that there are no visas outstanding—there are—but that these un- 1564 happy people have not been able to get out of the countries where they are persecuted. I certainly do not think this country has any reason to reproach itself.