HL Deb 11 February 1953 vol 180 cc352-3

2.39 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To draw the attention of Her Majesty's Government to the statement made by the Prime Minister in the Diet on February 3 that "we shall exert efforts to regain the former Japanese territories of southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands"; whether this statement is in conformity with the Yalta Agreement and the Japanese Peace Treaty; and, if not, whether Her Majesty's Government can state that they will not be a party to any attempt to break the Agreement and the Peace Treaty in relation to these territories.]


My Lords, Her Majesty's Government's attention has been drawn to the reported statement by the Prime Minister of Japan. The statement, as reported, is not in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government consistent with the Livadia Agreement signed at Yalta (to which, however, Japan was not a party), nor is it in conformity with the Treaty of Peace with Japan. It should, however, be borne in mind that it was made in reply to impromptu interpellations without notice in the Japanese House of Councillors. Subsequently, in a considered statement, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, said that legally Japan concluded a Peace Treaty by which she gave up her claims to South Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, and, while legally Japan is, therefore, not directly concerned, naturally Japan is interested. He confirmed this attitude in a reply to a question in the Japanese Diet on February 5. As regards the last part of his Question, the noble Viscount can rest assured that Her Majesty's Government do not intend to depart from the international Agreements governing the position of these territories.


My Lords, I thank the noble Marquess for that answer.