HC Deb 08 December 1952 vol 509 cc18-9
21. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs which of the Dominions have now ratified the Genocide Convention; and why Her Majesty's Government have not yet done so.

Mr. Nutting

Australia, Canada and Ceylon have either ratified or acceded to the Convention.

Her Majesty's Government have not yet agreed to accede to the Convention for the reasons explained by my right hon. and learned Friend on 19th May.

Mr. Janner

Is the Minister aware that no specific reason has yet been given and that it is a very important matter? Will he consult those present at the Commonwealth Conference to see why they ratify and, if possible, come to the same conclusion?

Mr. Nutting

This has been very fully explained before in the House, both by the former Government and by my right hon. Friend. The position is that Her Majesty's Government do not wish to ratify or to accede to the Convention until and unless they are absolutely certain they can give effect in their domestic law to all the provisions, and to the spirit of the Convention. That is the position of the Government. As the hon. Gentleman knows, many complicated legal and technical problems are involved. We wish to sort them out and to see whether we can legislate to fulfil our obligations before we accede.

Mr. Paget

Has the hon. Gentleman any information as to the intention of the Czechoslovakian Government with regard to this Agreement?