British Parliament Hears Jewish Plea for Ratification of Genocide Pact

The issue of Britain’s delay in ratifying the international convention outlawing genocide was raised again in Commons today by Sir Barnett Janner who urged that ratification should not be postponed indefinitely.

Sir Barnett, who is president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said that a vast number of organizations connected with the United Nations were “shocked” at Britain’s not having approved the pact. He said that history had taught a lesson which should force any thinking man into realization that such a pact was essential.

The Jewish leader said that many persons were forgetful or unaware of the enormities of the crimes practiced by the Hitler regime. “I have seen publications circulated which advocate hatred of the Jews and color prejudices. These are public incitements to commit genocide and would be punishable under the genocide convention,” he told the Parliament.

Peter Thomas, Undersecretary of the British Foreign Office, replying for the Government, said; “We all view genocide with the greatest repugnance and horror and we are anxious to play our full part in its suppression. The purpose of the convention is to outlaw genocide internationally and with that purpose we are in complete agreement.”

The British official referred to “complications.” He stressed that Sir Barnett had been given assurances that the question of whether or not the British Government was able to resolve those difficulties and sign the pact was under fresh examination, and urged Sir Barnett to be patient “for a little longer.”

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