§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether in international law the USSR has any right to impose military conscription on the three Baltic States, which it had previously seized and occupied; and whether they have made or will make representations to the Soviet Government on this matter.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (The Earl of Caithness)
The imposition of military conscription cannot be held to be unlawful under international law provided that international human rights standards are respected. However, the British Government has never recognisedde jure the annexation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union. De facto we acknowledge that the Baltic States at present lie under Soviet control and that the laws and constitution applied to other parts of the USSR have been extended to them. We support the right of the Baltic peoples to self-determination, and to resolve their future status through free negotiation with the Soviet authorities in a way which takes proper account of the legitimate rights and interests of the parties concerned. We have urged the Soviet authorities to enter into such negotiations and to refrain from any further coercion of the Baltic peoples.