HC Deb 05 April 1950 vol 473 cc1174-5
21. Mr. Haire

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he now proposes arising out of the report of the International Court at The Hague on the question of the Human Rights Clauses of the peace treaties with Hungary, Roumania and Bulgaria.

Mr. Younger

No action is appropriate at present. The Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 22nd October, 1949, referred four questions to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion, of which two have now been answered in the affirmative. The remaining two only fall to be answered if, after a lapse of 30 days from 30th March, the date of the delivery of the first opinion, the Governments of Hungary, Bulgaria and Roumania, have still failed to appoint their members to the various Peace Treaty Commissions. In that event the International -Court of Justice will proceed to give its opinion on the last two points, involving the question whether competent Commissions can be formed without members appointed by the three Governments.

Mr. Haire

Is my hon. Friend aware of the continued violation of the Human Rights Clauses of these peace treaties and, indeed, of the worsening of the situation in Eastern Europe? Is he aware, for example, of the disappearance of British and other nationals almost daily, and will he do something to expedite this matter?

Mr. Younger

I think my right hon. Friend has said on many occasions that he is most dissatisfied with the observance of human rights in these countries, but, as I have explained, this matter is at the moment in the hands of the International Court and for 30 days from 30th March at any rate it must be left to them.

Lord John Hope

Can we have from the Minister of State what he considers to be "a protest in an effective manner," because this Question rather ties up with the other one?