HC Deb 16 February 1948 vol 447 cc819-20
25. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will issue a White Paper summarising the conduct of the major political trials held in Eastern Europe since VE Day, in violation of the Peace Treaties and of the Yalta Agreement together with short descriptions of the circumstances leading up to these trials.

Mr. McNeil

The abhorrence which this series of so-called trials has awakened in the minds of the people of this country has been repeatedly expressed in this House and in the Press. My right hon. Friend does not think, therefore, that a White Paper summarising these proceedings would be useful.

Major Beamish

Is it not a tact that the Foreign Office have had observers at most of these major trials? In view of that, and the shortage of newsprint in this country resulting in a certain amount of ignorance amongst the public regarding the nature of these trials, cannot I press the Minister to reconsider this? Is it not the duty of the Foreign Office to keep public opinion informed?

Mr. McNeil

Of course, my right hon. Friend, I know, will reconsider the matter; but, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, these trials have not been few in number, and the labour and research which would he demanded to produce an adequate summary would be very considerable.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Is there not some other way available of expressing the horror felt by all decent minded people in this country and in others at these proceedings?