British Spokesmen List Guarding of Minorities Rights Among War Aims

Protection of the rights of racial minorities by an international body was advanced as one of the peace objectives of the Labor Party by Major Clement Attlee, leader of the Opposition, in a speech in Caxton Hall today.

Major Attlee outlined this aim as follows:

“….There must be recognition of the rights of national, racial and religious minorities. While as far as possible every state should be left free to manage its internal affairs, there is a common interest…. in recognition of the rights of individuals.

“It may well be that later the principle of recognition of the rights of the individual might be given a still wider extension and be firmly established as part of the law of nations. Here it is sufficient to lay down as a principle that where there are racial minorities in any state there must be some effective authority by an international body over the sovereign rights of the individual state.”

The laborite leader asserted that “peace, disarmament and prosperity cannot be achieved without the creation of some authority superior to the will of the individual states.”

Foreign Secretary Viscount Halifax, in a broadcast last night outlining the Government’s war aims, also laid down the principle that denial of “elementary human rights” Justified intervention in Germany.

“In general,” Lord Halifax said, “it is no business of one nation to interfere with the internal administration of another, and history has plenty of examples of the futility of such attempts. The British are particularly reluctant to interfere in other people’s business, provided always that other people do not seek to interfere in theirs.

“But when the challenge in the sphere of international relations is sharpened, as today in Germany, by the denial to men and women of elementary human rights, that challenge is at once extended to something instinctive and profound in the universal conscience of mankind.

“We are therefore fighting to maintain the rule of law and the quality of mercy in dealings between man and men and in the great society of civilized states.”

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