HC Deb 29 February 1960 vol 618 cc829-30
40. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the most recent representations he has made to the West German Government regarding the appointment to their former, or similar, positions, contrary to the Potsdam Agreement, of judges, prosecutors and other legal persons personally concerned in the infliction of inhumane sentences under the Nazi laws.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I have nothing to add to what my hon. Friend told the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler) on 27th January.

Mrs. Castle

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that we had better begin by taking steps in areas for which we are responsible and in which we have an interest under the Potsdam Agreement? Is he not aware that the American Jewish Congress has written to me to complain, having been denied access to documents at the Berlin Centre to which I have referred? Is it not clear that, far from making representations to the West German Government to clear up this matter to let us have some confidence in its procedure, the allies are in fact conniving with the West German Government in a conspiracy of suppression of the facts? Is it not time that that was stopped?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. Lady is talking complete nonsense. If we have a case where we get any evidence, we are only too willing to pass it on, but we are not responsible either for the Documents Centre or for investigating the matter.

Mr. S. Silverman

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman recall that I have been periodically asking him Questions on this subject for nearly two years and that on every occasion he promises that he is making investigations and will make a statement to the House and that so far he has not made a statement of any kind to the House? Is he asking the House to believe that either he or our allies are seriously attempting to investigate what is a very serious problem? Have they no results to report? Have they not found a single case yet? Is he aware that the exhibition to which my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) referred was of 41 samples only out of an investigated total of more than 1,000? Is not anything to be done about that?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. Gentleman may recollect that the Land Ministers of Justice of the Federal Republic made it clear that they were concerned to investigate these kinds of allegations, and, in certain cases, as the hon. Gentleman probably knows, there have been results.