§ 16. Mr. Stokes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many alleged War Criminals handed over respectively to the Dutch, Belgian and French authorities remain in prison and are untried in those countries for more than three, two or one years, respectively; whether he will give instructions that no more such persons are to be handed over to any of those Governments until arrears have been wiped off; and whether he will instruct the Commander in Chief in Germany to exercise his right under Control 352 Commission Laws and request the return of all such persons who have been held in detention untried for more than six months.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Mayhew)
The figures asked for are not available and would take a very long time to obtain. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative. As regards the third part of the Question, while it is not clear that Article 5 of Control Council Law No. 10 has exactly the meaning which my hon. Friend puts on it, the Military Governor is already applying for the return in individual cases of persons who have been held in detention untried for more than six months.
§ Mr. Stokes
Is my hon. Friend aware that hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been handed over for trial and nothing has been done about them? The Dutch authorities have declared that they are so busy trying their own Quislings that they cannot be bothered with foreigners. Is he also aware that under the Control Commission instructions, the Commander-in-Chief has power to demand the repatriation of these people to Germany, but has not done so, and thousands of them are languishing in gaol, untried, with no charge made against them?
§ Mr. Mayhew
I do not think that I can accept any of those four statements. On the last point, I have explained that the Military Governor is already applying for return in individual cases. The other points are covered in the answer, which, I think, shows our interest and anxiety.
§ Mr. Stokes
Is my hon. Friend aware that instructions are being given that all people who have been asked for by foreign Governments are now to have warrants issued for their arrest, and as there are thousands in prison untried, what is the sense of putting more people into prison when those already there have not been tried? Surely that is nonsense?
§ Mr. Stokes
I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment, with great authority.