HC Deb 23 February 1959 vol 600 cc808-10
47. Mr. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give an assurance that it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to ensure that in any peace treaty with Germany all former Nazi judges, military leaders and others holding State and quasi-State positions in either East or West Germany must be removed from office and, further, that any such Nazi who has been found guilty of any of the various crimes associated with the Nazi movement will not, for at least the next ten years, be allowed to hold any State or semi-State appointment.

Mr. R. Allan

Everybody, including the Federal Government, wants to ensure that Nazism will not rise again in a united Germany. But I cannot anticipate discussions about a German peace treaty.

Mr. Lewis

While appreciating that the Federal Government and Her Majesty's Government and everyone else would like this view put into operation, can the hon. Gentleman give some reason why such a clause should not be included in any eventual treaty? If ten years is too long, perhaps we could settle for five. Would not something of that kind be helpful, especially since Her Majesty's Government and the Federal Government agree on the principle involved?

Mr. Allan

As the hon. Member has pointed out, there are many others besides himself who detest the Nazi movement and perhaps with more reason than the hon. Gentleman—I do not mean that unkindly. That is the feeling of Western German leaders at the moment. I am sure that we can trust them to see that this principle is adopted, but it might not necessarily be wise to put it into a treaty.

Mr. S. Silverman

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that among the categories set out in my hon. Friend's Question there is one category of special significance, namely, former Nazi judges and former Nazi prosecutors in judicial positions, and that there are many of them so employed in West Germany? Since the Foreign Secretary has frequently promised to inquire into this state of affairs, and since there are so many Nazis so employed and we have not yet had a report, is not this an offence to the public conscience all over the world? Is it not rather like putting Hitler in charge of a war crimes tribunal?

Mr. Allan

Those are very wide allegations. The hon. Gentleman knows quite well that the de-nazification proposals have been taken over by the Federal Government since 1949.

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