HC Deb 10 December 1963 vol 686 cc68-9W
Miss Vickers

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps Her Majesty's Government propose to take to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Her Majesty's Government were among the most active participants in the formulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although the Declaration has no binding legal force, it has acquired great moral authority, which Her Majesty's Government, for their part, will do all in their power to support.

The 10th December has annually been observed as Human Rights Day. Its observance in this country has been regarded by Her Majesty's Government as mainly a matter for voluntary bodies. On this fifteenth anniversary, however, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education is sending a personal message to schools commending the commemoration of the anniversary and pointing out its significance from the British point of view. My right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary has called the attention of colonial Governors to the Declaration in connection with the anniversary. My right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General has authorised the use of a special postage stamp cancellation for the two weeks leading up to this anniversary, designed to remind people of the significance of this occasion. The Central Office of Information have issued a revised version of a pamphlet on the whole subject of Human Rights in the United Kingdom which was specially written for this kind of celebration and which will receive wide distribution. A copy of this pamphlet is in the Library of the House.