HC Deb 07 February 1945 vol 407 cc2055-6
15. Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give an assurance that the principles of the Atlantic Charter, which stipulate there should be no transfer of territories without the consent of the people, do not, ipso facto, apply to enemy countries.

Mr. Law

It has frequently been stated in the past that the policy of His Majesty's Government is based on the objectives broadly laid down in the Atlantic Charter and subscribed to by all the United Nations. His Majesty's Government do not, however, regard any provision of the Charter as meaning that the transfer of enemy territory can in no circumstances take place without the consent of its present inhabitants.

Mr. Sorensen

Does not the present interpretation of the Atlantic Charter amount to sheer humbug?

Mr. Law

No, Sir.

Mr. Hynd

If the declaration concerning the transfer of territories does not apply to enemy territory, can the right hon. Gentleman inform us of any country to which it does apply?

Mr. Law

I think the view of the Government on this point was made abundantly clear by the Prime Minister, when he explained to the House that the Allies would not be bound to enemy States at the moment of surrender by any obligation whatever.

Mr. Stokes

If I put down a Question to the right hon. Gentleman, will he clear the matter up by telling us to which countries the Atlantic Charter does apply?

Mr. Law

The hon. Member is capable of putting his own Question.

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