§ 4. Mr. G. Strauss
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will ask the Governments of the United Nations to make a declaration that as soon as practicable every effort will be made to obtain the names of those responsible for crimes against German democrats and anti-Nazis, such as the recent murder of 7,000 internees in Buchenwald concentration camp; and that those names will be added to the list of war criminals and tried by an appropriate court.
§ Mr. Eden
Crimes committed by Germans against Germans, however reprehensible, are in a different category from war crimes and cannot be dealt with under the same procedure. His Majesty's Government have this matter under consideration, but I am not in a position to make any further statement at present.
§ Mr. Strauss
Does not the Foreign Secretary agree that the murder in cold blood of anti-Nazi Germans in Germany, is just as criminal as the murder of anti-Nazis of other nationalities elsewhere? At the present stage of the war, would it not be salutary to issue a warning that such crimes will be punished with equal ruthlessness?
Might it not have an effect on the danger of further crimes, such as Buchenwald, if it is made perfectly clear now, that under whatever procedure, criminals will not escape punishment?
§ Mr. Silverman
Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that all these matters are equally offensive against the human conscience, and on exactly the same grounds? Would it not, therefore, be very much better to widen the terms of reference of the War Crimes Commission so that all these matters could be dealt with by exactly the same procedure?
§ Mr. Eden
No, Sir. We really have given some thought to this. I cannot agree with my hon. Friend about widening the work of the War Crimes Commission; they have a very definite and circumscribed task. I agree, however, about the offensiveness of these crimes; all I say is, that they must be handled in some other way.
§ Mr. G. Strauss
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.