Genocide Convention

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th January 1967.

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Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West 12:00 am, 26th January 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now introduce legislation to enable Her Majesty's Government to fulfil their undertaking to accede to the Genocide Convention.

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

I regret that I cannot yet say when it will be possible to introduce this legislation.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that an undertaking was given in respect of this a considerable time ago? This really is a very urgent matter, and the world is waiting for a reply to it. When will my hon. and

hon. Lady is to publish. Can she assure me that everything possible is being done to keep families together rather than put these children either into homes, or into foster homes, which is most undesirable if there is any possibility of keeping them in their own homes?

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

I assure the hon. Lady that everything possible is being done by local authorities and by my Department, and I should like to pay tribute to those foster parents who sometimes take whole families so that they shall not be separated.

Following is the Answer:

learned Friend introduce the necessary legislation?

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

I am afraid that I cannot promise legislation this Session.

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

A number of Parliaments have passed without this legislation being introduced. I hope that before this Parliament is over my hon. Friend and many others will not be disappointed.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg Mr Quintin Hogg , St Marylebone

While I freely acknowledge that this Government are not the only Government who have sinned, would not the hon. and learned Gentleman recognise that world opinion simply will not accept a shortage of Parliamentary time as an excuse for not passing legislation of this kind?

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

Legislation of this kind will be passed, but, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows, there has been tremendous competition for Parliamentary time, particularly in Home Office matters, in this Session.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

I accept that my hon. and learned Friend is in no way responsible for the present state of affairs, but will he bear in mind that ratification by this country of the Genocide Convention is all the more urgent since the Government of which he is a member continue to support actions which can only be described as actions of genocide by their American allies in Vietnam?