Britain Pledges It Will Support Full Civil Rights for National Minorities
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Britain Pledges It Will Support Full Civil Rights for National Minorities

The British Government today pledged itself in the House of Lords to do everything possible to secure the civil and religious rights of national minorities. The pledge was given by Lord Chancellor Lord Jowitt in reply to a demand by the Archbishop of York, Dr. Cyril Garbett, who asked the government to instruct its representatives at international conferences to press for equal rights for minorities.

Emphasizing that the British Government views the national minority problem “with great anxiety”, the Lord Chancellor said that Britain “will go as far as it possibly can” in securing equal rights for minorities and “will only be deterred from going to greater lengths by practical realism which will make the government understand that if it goes too far, it may lose what it would otherwise obtain.”

Pointing out that under the United Nations a commission had been appointed to draft an International Bill of Rights, the Lord Chancellor told the House of Lords: “The protection of minorities must depend on action by the United Nations, and it is a proposition for fulfilment of the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter. Until that bill of rights is drawn up, there is no standard of rights under the Charter and it would be impossible to enforce action against any state unless and until machinery had been created by the United Nations to which appeals might be directed. It is the desire of the government that there should be some body to whom such appeals could be brought so that if anyone is ill-treating minorities he may be arraigned before the bar of international opinion.”

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