HC Deb 01 December 1948 vol 458 cc1982-3
13. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the present position of the proceedings before the International Court of Justice at The Hague between Great Britain and Albania; who has been in charge of the British case since the retirement of the Attorney-General; and if he anticipates an early conclusion.

Mr. Mayhew

The opening addresses by counsel for both sides were concluded on 19th November. Since then the court has been hearing witnesses, after which it will hear final addresses of counsel on both sides. The Solicitor-General has been in charge of the British case since the Attorney-General left The Hague. It is anticipated that the oral hearings may end about 11th December. A further period must then be expected before the Court delivers its judgment.

Sir P. Hannon

Will His Majesty's Government do everything possible to expedite this business? Is it not disgraceful that we should be in this position at this moment vis-à-vis Albania after the crimes they have committed against us?

Mr. Mayhew

We are doing everything we can to expedite the proceedings. When the case is over we shall consider whether the procedure cannot be reformed.