HC Deb 24 May 1954 vol 528 cc15-6
26. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the reasons for supporting the exclusion of India from the International Military Tribunal in its consideration of clemency arrangements for Japanese war criminals, having regard to the fact that India was an original member of the tribunal and that Pakistan has recently been included as a member.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Douglas Dodds-Parker)

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East ceased to exist in February, 1949. I presume that the intent of the hon. Member's Question is to inquire why India does not participate in the procedures established by Article 11 of the Japanese Peace Treaty for exercising clemency towards war criminals sentenced by the International Tribunal, while Pakistan does. The answer is that India, unlike Pakistan, has not signed the Japanese Peace Treaty and has not, therefore, acquired the right to participate in the procedures established by that Treaty for granting clemency.

As regards Pakistan, the position is that Pakistan is entitled under international law to seek and be accorded the rights and obligations which attached to undivided India as a participant in the war against Japan. Pakistan is accordingly regarded for the purposes of the Peace Treaty as having been represented on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and, since she signed and ratified the Treaty, is entitled to participate in the Treaty procedures for granting clemency.

Mr. Davies

Has the right hon. Gentleman taken note of the fact that India was a member of the original tribunal set up, and that the Japanese Peace Treaty was not ratified until five years later? Is it not correct to say that this action arose solely out of the instruction of the United States to the Japanese Government that no nation which had not signed or ratified the Treaty had any jurisdiction in this matter? Is not that contrary to international law and practice?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I think the hon. Member would help himself if he would read my answer and see whether his mind is not then made clear.