HC Deb 21 June 1995 vol 262 c451

10 pm

Mr. Jim Dowd (Lewisham, West)

Just a few short weeks before the 50th anniversary of VJ day, and the final end of hostilities in 1945, it is not just opportune, but essential that Parliament should remember the greatest unrelieved injustice that remains to be settled from the conflict of the second world war.

It is my great privilege to present a petition of more than 200,000 signatures from members of the Japanese Labour Camp Survivors Association and many other citizens of the United Kingdom. That petition states: That we the undersigned, hereby: acknowledge the terrible suffering of those former servicemen and Civilian Internees who were taken prisoner by the Japanese during the course of the Second World War; express our deep concern that, despite the fifty years that have elapsed since the end of the War, the Japanese Government has failed to formally apologise for their actions and compensate the former Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees for their suffering; Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House do call on Her Majesty's Government to take whatever steps it can to support the former prisoners including refusing to agree to Japan being given a permanent seat on the UN Security Council until this matter is resolved and by calling on the Japanese Government to fully apologise to the former Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees and compensate them to the sum of £14,000 each. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc. To lie upon the Table.

Mr. Hugh Bayley (York)

I wish to present a petition on behalf of almost 2,000 of my constituents, who are seeking an end to the mahogany trade because of the damage it is causing to the rain forests of South America. The petition reads: The Petition of York Friends of the Earth and Residents of York Declares that we wish to express our deep dismay at the damage and destruction caused to the Amazon rainforests by the mahogany trade. As the world's second largest importer of mahogany from Brazil, the UK is a major contributor to the loss of these forests and the terrible consequences faced by the people who live there. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the government to announce a moratorium on mahogany imports until it can be established that the trade operates on an environmentally sound, socially beneficial and legal basis. The petition is signed by Guy Wallbanks of York and 1,993 of my constituents.

To lie upon the Table.