HC Deb 10 July 1946 vol 425 cc363-4
1. Mr. Emus Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs which Italian generals are to be tried as war criminals for atrocities committed under their orders in Abyssinia.

The Minister of State (Mr. Philip Noel-Baker)

I understand that three months ago a representative of the Ethiopian Government saw the Secretary-General of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and that he was given the appropriate forms for submitting evidence. So far, I understand, no cases have yet been submitted either to the War Crimes Commission or to anyone else.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that the Moscow declaration of 6th November, 1943, stated that persons accused of war crimes would be tried on the spot where the alleged crimes had been committed; and will he say whether this does not apply to Africa as well as to Europe?

Mr. Noel-Baker

That is rather a different question, and one of which I should require notice. I have given the hon. Gentleman the information I have in reply to the Question he put down.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that it is in the public interest that these people should be brought to trial at the earliest possible moment and immediate steps taken to that effect?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I do not want now to debate the point put by my hon. and learned Friend. I understand that there is some doubt whether the United Nations War Crimes Commission would feel that they had jurisdiction over acts committed before 1939.