HC Deb 20 November 1950 vol 481 cc5-6W
72. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is now proposed to ratify the Convention on Genocide; or what reasons there are for not doing so.

Mr. Ernest Davies

The closing date for signing this Convention was 31st December, 1949. Since His Majesty's Government had not signed by that date the question of ratification does not arise and His Majesty's Government can now only become a party to it by accession. His Majesty's Government, for the reasons set forth in the reply to my hon. Friend on the 25th October, are not able at this stage to decide whether they should accede to the Convention. His Majesty's Government must take into consideration and are therefore carefully studying the effect of the reservations in the light of the debates on this subject in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the subsequent reference of the whole question to the International Court of Justice. At the same time I must remind my hon. Friend of the implications which our accession to the Convention might have on our traditional policy of granting asylum to political refugees. These present considerable difficulties and are still being studied by experts.

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