HC Deb 18 July 1966 vol 732 cc8-9
6. Sir J. Foster

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has made to the Russian Government protesting against the persecution of Jews in Soviet Russia.

Mrs. White

None, Sir. We have made clear at the United Nations our opposition to all forms of racialism, including anti-Semitism. The Soviet Government are aware of our views.

Sir John Foster

Would the Foreign Secretary make representations, as all the Jewish schools in Russia have been closed, and most of the synagogues? Would he also consider making representations to achieve the reunification of Jewish families which have been separated by the war—separated either Russia-Israel or Russia-other Communist countries? This is a very vital matter.

Mrs. White

We have every sympathy with the point made by the hon. and learned Gentleman, but he is himself a distinguished international lawyer and will appreciate that while there are many opinions in these matters, it is a difficult thing to make official bilateral representations to another country on behalf of people in whom we cannot claim a direct interest.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Is there not a well-documented list of persecutions against the Jews in Russia, and does not this quite clearly offend against every canon of human rights? That being so, is it not the duty of Her Majesty's Government, despite all the conventions, to make representations?

Mrs. White

No, Sir. The opinion of Her Majesty's Government is that it is proper to raise the matter internationally, as we have done at the United Nations, but that it is not proper to make direct bilateral representations on such a thing.

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