Mr Gordon Hewart: I have been asked to reply. With reference to the ex-Kaiser there is nothing to add to the answer given to my hon. Friend on the 13th of last month, except to say that the date asked for is 24th March, 1920. To the Note sent on that date no reply was received. With reference to the other persons mentioned, the matter is one for the Supreme Council, who have lately received a report from the...
Mr Gordon Hewart: The answer to the first question is, I hope so. The answer to the second is in the negative.
Mr Gordon Hewart: It is more pleasant to listen to speeches than to make them, and I was hoping to remain silent this afternoon. But several hon. Members have asked me, in a somewhat pointed manner, for an expression of opinion upon this question. I will express an opinion, and I hope I shall be forgiven if I express it in the shortest and simplest form. In my opinion this is not an occasion for constitutional...
Mr Gordon Hewart: What I said was that the use of the word in this connection was not inconsistent with the Agreement.
Mr Gordon Hewart: My hon. Friend must not have heard me correctly. I said a similar question was put to me by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall). It appears in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Mr Gordon Hewart: I am not in a position to answer that question. As the right hon. Baronet is, I think, aware, this matter is in the hands of the Supreme Council to whom a Report has been addressed.
Mr Gordon Hewart: I understand that in some French newspapers there appeared paragraphs which purported to give the substance of this Report. It is not for mo to say how far, if at all, these paragraphs were accurate. At any rate, I am not at liberty to publish the Report, nor do I think it is any part of my functions to address to the Supreme Council such a request as has been mentioned. No doubt the matter...
Mr Gordon Hewart: No, Sir, I cannot imagine that the report of a committee of jurists was inconsistent with the advice given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General.
Mr Gordon Hewart: I must not accept the word "concealment." I do not know what the motive for their conduct is.
Mr Gordon Hewart: If I intervene, contrary to my intention and only for a few moments, in this Debate it is not for the purpose of making a general speech upon the Bill or even of replying to the observations of my hon. Friend who has just sat down. It is because, as I understand, some question has arisen, and has been pointedly addressed to the Law Officers of the Crown, upon the interpretation of Article 12...
Mr Gordon Hewart: I must resist the temptation to answer that conundrum. But I assure my hon. Friend that he is quite wrong in thinking that I deliberately avoided the point. If I were to attempt to deal with the two questions which are raised by him I should then be doing the very thing which I submit that it is no part of my task to do, and which, if I were to attempt to do it, would be nugatory.
Mr Gordon Hewart: If my hon. Friend will allow me for a moment, it may be that I shall deal with the point which he is about to raise. If I were to attempt the task I have indicated, it would be an improper task and a nugatory task, because nothing that I can say could impose the slightest fetter upon the only tribunal which will have to interpret the meaning of this Article, and that is the Commission. But...
Mr Gordon Hewart: My hon. Friend has introduced an insidious epithet into his question. I do not know what is meant by "small"
Mr Gordon Hewart: The phrase which the Prime Minister employed, and which, with respect, I venture to repeat, is "readjustment of boundaries." What that will involve, according to the wishes of the inhabitants, and subject to the limitations of the two kinds set out in Article 12, is a matter for the good judgment and the good sense of the Commission.
Mr Gordon Hewart: I have been asked to reply. I am not aware of the matters referred to in the first part of the question, except that I am informed that a list of French officers and men against whom accusations were said to be made, was published in the Press of Germany in May last. Any further action in the direction suggested in the question must be a matter for consideration by the Allies jointly.
Mr Gordon Hewart: I have answered that part. The second part of my answer related to that part of the question.
Mr Gordon Hewart: That is the subject of another question on the Paper.
Mr Gordon Hewart: I have been asked to reply. There is nothing to add to the answer given on the 10th November last to question put by my hon. and learned Friend.
Mr Gordon Hewart: Steps are being taken, as I explained in the answer referred to.
Mr Gordon Hewart: Yes, the steps which were referred to in that answer.