Oral Answers to Questions — German Atrocities (Retribution).

– in the House of Commons on 19th May 1942.

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Mr. Davidson:

asked the Prime Minister whether His Majesty's Government are still associated with our Allies in their determination to exact punishment for uncivilised atrocities committed by the German forces; and whether such association comes within the ambit of the Atlantic Charter?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The attitude of His Majesty's Government remains that expressed in the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 25th October last regarding Nazi atrocities in occupied territory, when he said that "retribution for these crimes must henceforward take its place among the major purposes of the war." The principle of just retribution for such crimes is in no way inconsistent with the provisions of the Atlantic Charter.

Mr. Davidson:

Is my right hon. Friend aware that speeches made by Ministers during recent weeks have created much confusion in the minds of the people of this country, and will he take steps to see that such speeches are made with a full knowledge of the Government's policy?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I am not aware of the particular speeches to which my hon. Friend is referring, but sometimes speeches are judged only by extracts and not by the speech in full.

Mr. Davidson:

Will my right hon. Friend do me the justice of believing that I am not dealing with extracts, but with speeches which I have read through fully, and that they still create confusion in the minds of the people?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

Perhaps my hon. Friend will let me see them.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that we do not desire to see after this war what happened after the last war—violent promises like that about hanging the Kaiser, which were never carried out?