§ VISCOUNT MAUGHAM had the following Notice on the Paper: To ask His Majesty's Government, whether they are taking, in concert with the Allies of this country, all possible steps to secure the return of loot by the Axis Powers to the various countries which have been despoiled and of fair equivalents for the looted property where the latter cannot be found; and to move for Papers. The noble and learned Viscount said: My Lords, the Motion which stands in my name relates to matters of very great importance. Hitler has waged this war on a planned system of robbery, open or disguised, in, all the countries in Europe which he has occupied. That system he derived from a system employed in the last war, but he has improved upon it. As a matter of fact, he has only been able to carry on the war so long as he has with the aid of loot in its various forms from vast areas. I suppose that he has taken in cash, securities, animals, works of art, scientific instruments, factory equipment, stocks, means of transport, boats and barges many times as much as the Armies of the Kaiser were able to take in the last war. On the other hand, we now know, what I am afraid most people did not know on the conclusion of the last war, that it is impossible to get by reparation in money or in goods, generally speaking 68 in goods, anything like enough to compensate the people who have been victorious.
§ There were clauses as to reparations which your Lordships will find in Part VIII of the Versailles Treaty, and it was estimated by competent authorities that the clauses might bring in £20,000,000,000. In fact they brought in about one-tenth of that amount. Now there is no reason to suppose that reparations after this war will bring in a larger sum than they did after the last war, since Germany will be bankrupt both in cash and credit. It seems to me that restitutions in specie and replacements in kind will, therefore, be of much greater importance than the clauses as to future reparations which we may embody in a peace treaty. In the Versailles Treaty you will find elaborate clauses as to reparations in Articles 231 to 237. They refer to all the damage suffered by the peoples of the victorious nations, including all the damage suffered in consequence of legitimate operations of war. I am not asking your Lordships to consider those cases at all to-day. I am inviting consideration of a very different question—namely, that of all kinds of property in fact stolen by Germany from the occupied countries during the war. That matter was very slightly considered in the last war, though there was an Article—Article No. 238—which did refer to the restitution of a number of objects of various kinds, seized or sequestrated or taken away, in the cases where it was possible to identify those properties in territory belonging to Germany or her Allies.
§ In this case, as I have said, we shall obtain very little advantage, in view of the tremendous total of the bill of the Allies for reparations. Restitution will be one of the most important matters to be dealt with, but, if the principle of restitution is admitted, that of replacement must follow. If replacement were to be denied, the Germans would defeat the claims to restitution by alleging that the articles in question had been lost or destroyed, or that they could not be identified; and doubtless they would much sooner destroy valuable articles which they have looted rather than return them to the Allied Powers. It is clear, therefore, that one of the main objects of the Germans when defeat stares them and their Allies in the face, will be to delay 69 the resumption by the other European States of their normal economic activity; that is, to hamper all kinds of agricultural and manufacturing activities by their rivals, or probable rivals, after the war.
§ It is certain, as I think I could show your Lordships if there were time, that many of the requisitions or confiscations by the Germans have this object in view. After the last war, we in fact obtained a document issued by the Quartermaster-General of the German Imperial Forces in 1916, and which was sent to chambers of commerce and other associations in the German Empire, explaining how the German Armies, by the removal of metals, machinery, stocks and so forth, and by the gutting of certain factories, had rendered it exceedingly difficult for their enemies again to set up production in France in textile mills, foundries, woollen mills and so on. The document is quoted at length in Mr. Lloyd George's very interesting book entitled The Truth about the Peace Treaties, Chapter IX. Hitler has developed the same method, and given a wider application to it by the new and ominous technique of sending all skilled labour to Germany, with the result that factory owners in most of the occupied countries are now in despair. It will take our most vigorous efforts, after we and our Allies have entered Germany, to defeat this iniquitous plan; and, of course, speed is of the essence of the matter.
§ Here it is necessary to consider the almost certain wrecking policy of the aggressors when they are forced to evacuate the various countries which they have tried to enslave. Unless there is some powerful deterrent, they will act throughout Europe in the way in which they have acted in parts of Europe and in North Africa; that is, as they retire they will try to burn or blow up, or otherwise destroy, everything on which they can lay their brutal hands. The only way that I can see to stop this is to give the German Government and people the solemn warning, which will have to be repeated from time to time, that as regards all articles and things destroyed or removed upon the evacuation of cities and other places by the Axis Powers, the Allied Forces will seize in Germany articles of equal value for the use of the factories, museums, farms, libraries, universities, churches, railways, 70 power stations, broadcasting installations and other institutions in the occupied countries which have suffered from the deliberate depredations in question, and that that will be done whether or not these articles and things are in actual use.
§ It must not be supposed, however, that the Armies of Hitler have been animated by what I would call the straightforward methods of the pirate and the bandit. That is not the case at all. Taught by the experience of 1918, they have followed sometimes the methods of the gangster, sometimes those of the sneak-thief, and in a great many cases the methods of the fraudulent company promoter, with which I am, by my past experience, well acquainted. Behind it all is the hope of destroying, ruining or greatly impairing the future of some ten countries in Europe should the Germans be defeated—Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Greece, Norway, the parts of Russia which they have occupied, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Denmark. I should like to give your Lordships a full account of what has so far been done in these countries, but I do not want to weary you. Moreover, although I have collected from the most reliable sources a great deal of information, it is, of course, not complete, owing to the difficulties of communication with the occupied countries. Let me instead give you a short summary of what the Germanic hordes have done by the method of looting up to a recent date in most of the occupied countries, prefacing my remarks by observing that the most striking feature of the German occupation in Poland, Yugoslavia and occupied Russia has been the deliberate destruction of millions of human lives, and the burning and destruction of villages and houses in vast numbers, which will take a generation or more to replace.
§ Coming to what has been taken, removed or destroyed, the following are the most important. I should mention that the German system varies, to some extent, in the different countries. For example, in Poland, Yugoslavia and Russia the system has been perfectly horrible, while it has been far less rigorous in such a country as Denmark. Sneaking generally, these are the things which the Germans have removed, to mention only the most important of them. Works of art and historic interest, archives and valuable books and manuscripts— 71 these things have been taken from all countries, with the exception perhaps of Denmark, in various degrees. These, of course, one may hope, can be restored. Far more important to these unhappy countries is what has happened to the farms, including the live stock, and the factories with their equipment and industrial plant and stock. In many cases these things have been taken right away without any compensation at all, but in a number of cases the enemy have sought by various devices—and they have succeeded—to compel the owners to part with these things by means of what are really forced sales for special paper money, created exclusively for the use of the occupied countries, which will be entirely useless when the Germans have been defeated. In other cases these things have been taken away without any apology whatever.
§ The next group of items which I have noted from various informations which I have obtained consists of all the means of locomotion in these various countries which, I will add, will be absolutely necessary for the restitution of their economic life. Locomotives, rolling stock, motor cars, lorries, cycles, fishing and other boats and barges have been confiscated or requisitioned, and in some cases paid for in what I will call the "Occupation Marks," which are merely a disguised system of robbery. The next item is that of scientific instruments and equipment, and radio sets, which have been cleared as far as was possible out of all countries. Foreign currency, diamonds, non-ferrous metals, manufacturing stocks of all kinds—these have all been treated in the same way. Jewish property and that of practically all the peoples who have thought it wise to leave these countries have generally been confiscated without any pretence of payment. The same course has been taken in most countries as regards State property; that has all been regarded as captured in a legitimate operation of war. Sometimes the Germans have used a complicated process of dispossession through the employment of pretended intermediaries for forced sales through the national bank of the country concerned. I cannot conceive that sales under pressure for worthless paper money will be treated as binding on the unfortunate persons or countries which have been despoiled.72
§ Returning to the principle of replacement, there is a difficulty which must not be forgotten. So many countries have legitimate claims that there may not be a sufficient number of substitute articles to provide for all those claims. Take, for instance, the important question of railway locomotives. In Germany there were some 24,000 locomotives before the war. A very large number have been destroyed or worn out, and the Huns have stolen all they want in replacement of these things from occupied countries. Transport, as I have already hinted, is going to be a matter of supreme importance after the war. Many European countries will find reconstruction most difficult, and will find carrying on in the unhappy period before economic activity can be resumed most difficult unless they can get back the equivalents for their own locomotives and rolling stock—because their own, of course, will long ago have been worn out or destroyed in the course of the war.
§ But your Lordships will observe that there may be many claimants for articles of this sort. There will be seven or eight countries, perhaps, claiming locomotives which have been taken from them without a shadow of pretence. It seems to me that there must be an Inter-Allied Commission to deal with these and like problems, and it is very expedient that while the Allied Armies are actually engaged in the operations of mopping up, some at any rate of these goods should if possible be sent back to the countries which will be so badly in need of them. In some cases provision will have to made for a kind of pool of these articles intended for replacement, with a view to a distribution pro rata at an early date. It is easy to foresee grounds of dispute of a very troublesome nature. I have some knowledge, and I have no doubt the Government have still more knowledge, of how difficult it is to get representatives of nine or ten European Powers to agree together on any system which may be devised for such a purpose as I have mentioned. I venture to submit for the consideration of the Government, or of those who have to deal with the actual machinery of replacement, that there is a great deal to be said for the creation of at least two Commissions, one for the East and one for the West, as soon as the respective zones of occupation of the respective Powers have been agreed. It 73 will have to be done no doubt sooner or later.
§ The injuries and ghastly barbarities and losses which have been suffered by the Russians and the Poles, to name no others for the moment, outweigh so greatly those which have been suffered by the Western nations that one could not fairly blame the former for maintaining their own ideas as to the proper methods of obtaining restitution and replacement and the like. Nor, I suspect, if I may say so with all deference, will the head of the U.S.S.R. Army, victorious after one of the greatest military efforts known to history, be disposed to attribute an overwhelming weight to the advice and the ideas which will obtain among Western nations. I imagine they will go their own way. On the other hand, Great Britain and the United States must take a part in this broad question of restitution and replacement, even if they are not greatly concerned for themselves, and they will have to stand up for the rights of Holland, Belgium, France, Greece, and perhaps others of the smaller nations. The U.S.S.R. can be trusted to look after the interests of the predominantly Slav countries. It is vital from my point of view to appreciate the fact that the Herrenvolk of Hitler, as he called them, are working to be in a position to carry on their various commercial activities, whatever happens, with all kinds of advantages over the occupants of the so-called slave States in which the hordes of Germany have worked their will. Their commerce has been ruined, and it is a primary duty of the Allies, as I see it, to mate and, if possible, checkmate the German move, for without such steps on our part the situation of these people will be truly pitiable for years after the war.
§ I shall mention one other point. There are people of very great ability who have been assuring us that the only way of getting permanent peace in Europe is that of educating the children in Germany by a new system from which the poisonous ideas of Hitler and his gang—and I may add of their philosophers, Nietzsche and Spengler—will be entirely excluded. I hope that is an aim that can be achieved, but it will take very many years to do it. In the meantime it may be possible by the methods of restitution and replacement such as I have mentioned, and by other methods of that same kind, to get into the 74 ponderous and slow-witted Teutonic mind the idea that war does not pay. That is the only way in which, in my opinion, you will ever be able to prevent such a disastrous war as that in which we are engaged and which, alas, is by no means finished. If, as the result of steps of the kind to which I have adverted, the German people should suffer some of the miseries which the occupied countries have suffered, and which the Germans have deliberately inflicted upon them—countries which they have robbed and which they are in some measure attempting to destroy—they will only be reaping the bitter harvest they have themselves sown; and sensible and far-seeing men will reserve their pity for the victims so far as they have survived this German pestilence. I beg to move for Papers.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT SIMON)
My Lords, all of us who have listened to the impressive speech of my noble and learned friend will agree he has brought to the attention of the House to-day a most important and a very difficult subject. I entirely agree with him when he says that the fact that this island has escaped the hand of the despoiler is no reason at all why His Majesty's Government should not be deeply concerned in this subject and most anxious to contribute everything they can towards its effective handling. The victory of the United Nations would indeed be incomplete if, at the end of it all, the defeated Axis countries were to remain in enjoyment of the objects and wealth so shamelessly stolen from the victims of their aggression. We therefore are planning to give to our Allies all practical help and support in implementing an agreed plan for recovering the loot which can be found and identified.
My noble and learned friend has obviously made a close and special study of this subject, and we are all grateful to him for placing before the House the results of his examination. I cannot help thinking, after listening carefully to his speech, that he has probably omitted to observe the steps which have been taken and which have been publicly announced in an official document, as to which I shall remind the House in a moment. Let us first define the full area of this despoiling. As my noble and learned friend has said, it is by no means limited to concrete objects which have been stolen, 75 whether artistic or industrial. It is a much more extensive and much more subtle form of robbery than that. Interests in enterprises and companies have been secured by forcible or underhand means, time and again, in occupied countries by the enemy, and these have been in many cases forcibly misappropriated with the pretence of payment. My noble and learned friend referred with justice and truth to the cases which exist where the thing is made to bear the appearance of a commercial transaction. In fact, it is a forced sale which has been imposed upon the victim of the robbery, with the insult added to injury that the so-called payment is made in perfectly worthless, specially-prepared paper. I shall point out in a moment what is being undertaken in this regard.
Your Lordships will agree that there are two limitations in this matter which are really quite clear. The first one is this. This is not a case in which His Majesty's Government can usefully make a unilateral declaration. It is a case for joint deliberation and joint action, and what my noble and learned friend said just now shows that that is also his view. This is only one of many claims which will be made against the Axis Powers when they are defeated. It is a very important one; it is one that should be considered, not in future but now; but the extent and the method of dealing with such claims must be the subject of agreement between the United Nations. I think everybody here will see the good sense of that. The second observation of a preliminary kind I would make is this, that whatever may be done by way of declaration or preparation now, it is equally clear that there is no direct action that can be taken at this stage to secure the return of loot from the Axis Powers. That opportunity arises after we set foot on Axis soil and when Allied territories are being liberated.
So much by way of warning and limitation but, my Lords, I am glad to add to the material which the House would consider after my noble friend's careful and elaborate speech, by saying that we have, in consultation with our Allies, already taken steps to make it abundantly clear both to our enemies and to persons in neutral countries that the United Nations do intend to do their utmost to combat and defeat the plundering of territories 76 which have been overrun by the enemy or which have been brought under their control. I hold in my hand a document which has been available as a public document for months past which is called "The Inter-Allied Declaration against Acts of Dispossession Committed in Territories under Enemy Occupation or Control" issued as a White Paper (Cmd. 6418), at the end of a series of meetings between representatives of the United Nations, on January 5 of this year. It is evident from the fact that my noble friend made no reference to it that the document is apparently not very well known. I will therefore ask the House to allow me briefly to state its contents.
This document contains an Inter-Allied Declaration made by His Majesty's Government jointly with the Governments of sixteen other members of the United Nations and the French National Committee. I will read, if I may, the names of the Allied Nations concerned—the Governments of the Union of South Africa, the United States of America, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czechoslovak Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece, India, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yugoslavia, and the French National Committee. What does the Declaration contain? In the first place it contains a solemn warning. It goes on afterwards to be more specific. These eighteen Powershereby issue a formal warning to all concerned, and in particular to persons in neutral countries, that they intend to do their utmost to defeat the methods of dispossession practiced by the Governments with which they are at war against the countries and peoples who have been so wantonly assaulted and despoiled.Accordingly, the Governments making this Declaration and the French National Committee reserve all their rights to declare invalid any transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests of any description whatsoever, which are, or have been situated in the territories which have come under the occupation or control, direct or indirect, of the Governments with which they are at war, or which belong, or have belonged, to persons (including juridical persons) resident in such territories. This warning applies whether such transfers or dealings have taken the form of open looting or plunder, or of transactions apparently legal in form, even when they purport to be voluntarily effected.The Governments making this Declaration and the French National Committee solemnly record their solidarity in this matter.''77 I am the very first to recognize in these matters that words, even the most solemn and minatory words, are not the same thing as deeds, but I think it will be agreed that at this stage it is inevitable that the action which can be taken is necessarily in the nature of a warning, and I am sure it must be a satisfaction to my noble and learned friend and everybody in the House to realize that that was done quite early in this year as a result of communications between the different United Nations. Then this White Paper goes on—I will not delay the House to hear me read it all because there are four pages—to deal with the meaning, scope and application of the Inter-Allied Declaration in regard to acts committed in territories under enemy occupation or control.
Your Lordships may have observed that in the Declaration I have already read there occurs a phrase not unfamiliar, certainly not at all unfamiliar in connexion with international matters, about all these different Powers "reserving all their rights." My noble friend Lord Cecil of Chelwood has heard that expression at Geneva mane times and so have we all, but I think in a very practical way this document goes on to underline and underscore the meaning of that expression and, if I may, I w ill ask your Lordships to let me read one paragraph; it is paragraph 4:In the Declaration the parties 'reserve all their rights' to declare invalid transfers of or dealings with property, rights, etc., which have taken place during the period of enemy occupation or control of the territories in question. It is obviously impossible for a general declaration of this nature to define exactly the action which will require to be taken when victory has been won and the occupation or control of foreign territory by the enemy has been brought: to an end. Dispossession has taken many forms and all will require consideration in the light of circumstances which may well vary from country to country. The wording of the Declaration, however, dearly covers all forms of looting to which the enemy has resorted. It applies, e.g. to the stealing or forced purchase of works of art just as much as to the theft or forced transfer of bearer bonds.Another paragraph emphasizes the importance of the solidarity expressed in this Declaration. Without reading more of the document I think your Lordships will see that this document is a very important fact when we are considering this situation. It makes it entirely plain that the purpose of the United Nations is not 78 limited to undoing transactions of open robbery and theft but it extends to that much more dangerous and villainous form of enemy activity which seeks to cover these things up by the veneer of legal form or voluntary surrender.
Let me say one word on the importance of solidarity. I conceive, and I think indeed it was implied in one of the sentences spoken just now by my noble and learned friend, that there may be cases in which you will find that a particular State on the Continent of Europe, some State that has suffered most terribly under German occupation, may right some of these wrongs within its own territory by force of its own laws. If the thing is within the compass of the law of one single State I do not know how that very well could be objected to, but solidarity is most important for this practical reason, that nothing is so likely to prevent a practical result being achieved in the working out of the Declaration in cases where property has been taken from one area and transferred to another, as the lack of a complete common understanding between various States who are co-operating for the purpose. If therefore the transaction is within the scope or the territory of a particular occupied country and the property can be identified, well then it would be for the legitimate Government of that country to take the necessary steps to secure the return of such property or its; equivalent to its rightful owner, but if you have the case, which will not be uncommon, of the transfer from one area to another—in many cases the transfer to Germany itself—then international action and solidarity of machinery will be absolutely essential.
I can understand that if that was where I had to stop in referring to this Declaration, the question would naturally be asked by critics, by those who wish to urge that this should be treated as a practical and important object, "Well, what has happened since?" It would be a perfectly reasonable question and therefore I propose to tell your Lordships what has happened since. The parties to the Declaration of January 5 proceeded to set up an Inter-Allied Committee of experts. It exists now and it is working now. It is given a double task. First this Inter-Allied Committee is considering the scope and sufficiency of existing legislation in Allied countries concerned for the purpose of invalidating and undoing trans- 79 actions such as those referred to in the Declaration, because, as I have said, many of these have taken place under the cloak of legal transfer. Such transactions ought to be undone nevertheless.
I am quite convinced as far as my own knowledge of our own laws is concerned, that if these things arose within our own boundaries we might find it necessary to get additional legislative power. I cannot speak with authority about laws that prevail in the different countries of Europe, and it is manifestly an extremely complicated question. Therefore this Commission is now engaged in examining the present authority which would be lawfully exercised in their respective countries when they recover their independence in order to see how far such machinery would be available to do what is required. That is one purpose. The second purpose winch this expert Committee is pursuing is this. What has been said by my noble and learned friend shows that he has been devoting himself to this second consideration. This Inter-Allied Committee is collecting all the available information on various cases and methods of dispossession known to have been practised by enemy Governments and their adherents in occupied territories.
I am very far from saying there may not be valuable suggestions to be made which will carry the matter further, but I am not claiming anything more than that the information I have been able to give your Lordships is most relevant to this discussion and I hope gives the feeling that an effort is really being made in a practical spirit to face the difficulties to which my noble and learned friend so eloquently refers. When the Report is available from this Inter-Allied Committee, the Governments who are parties to the Declaration of January 5–17 Governments and the French National Committee—will meet to examine it and review the question and determine what should be done next.
There is one other piece of information which I think will be of interest to your Lordships. So far I have spoken of this Declaration as a Declaration addressed publicly to all the victims and to the countries of the Axis. There still remain some others. The Declaration of January 5 was officially communicated to the Gov- 80 ernments of those States which have broken off relations with the Axis even though they are not our Allies in the War. South America provides several instances. I believe it is the fact that in some cases concrete pieces of loot have been sent by the enemy for safe custody to parts of the New World. At any rate so it is rumoured. We were therefore much concerned to be sure that the countries in South America, for example, those of them that are not actually our Allies, but which in some cases have broken off relations with the Axis, would be aware that this was the policy of the United Nations, and concerned to know what their view of it was. We therefore communicated this Declaration to them, and I am glad to tell your Lordships that the Governments of other United Nations not included in the Declaration and States which have broken off relations with the Axis have responded most readily to the suggestion that they should associate themselves with the principles expressed in this Declaration and they have made announcements of their own to that effect.
These are useful steps. I have not attempted to reply to my noble and learned friend's powerful and eloquent speech simply by setting up a case that everything is all right and nothing remains to be done. I think the matter is one of the most difficult that any public man or lawyer can have to face. Certainly it was not satisfactorily solved at the end of the last war. I do claim, however, that this important Declaration and the steps that have followed it must give real satisfaction to my noble and learned friend. It does show that even before the day comes when the enemy is driven out of these occupied territories, a range of subjects have been discussed and examined and are in train in order that as soon as a practical opportunity comes, the best possible effort may be made to right this monstrous wrong.
§ VISCOUNT MAUGHAM
My Lords, I am exceedingly grateful to the noble and learned Viscount on the Woolsack for what he has said, and I am very glad to assume that in his view things are really going forward in the direction which obviously is necessary in the interests of justice. I ought to have mentioned o the Inter-Allied Committee and the Declaration of January 5. As a matter of fact I have met certain mem- 81 bers of that Committee and I was just a little bit inclined to think that their activities are not quite on the lines which I have been pressing on your Lordships. But I may be wrong. What they are doing with regard to restitution is obviously right and useful, and I could add nothing to it, but I do not at present think that the great principle of replacement which I have been urging is exactly before their mind or is being pursued. My idea is that in this war, in the circumstances which have arisen through the acts of the Germans in all these countries, replacement assumes a totally different character from that of restitution. You do not replace a cow or a locomotive or a wireless set of which you have been deprived by the German methods. You have got to take a similar article, and I am in favour of facing deliberately the proposition that this policy constitutes a new feature in the actions of a victorious Government and will have a profound effect if the policy is carried out. We must obtain justice for those nations which have been the subject of these terrible wrongs.
Particularly is that the case if you realize as I do—and as I could show if I thought myself at liberty to read the documents which I have with me here from all the Embassies and Legations in London which are concerned—the desperate condition most of these countries will be in after the war unless they can immediately get back their means of production and their means of carrying on agriculture and so forth. For that you want a totally different technique from that which has ever been employed before. You cannot leave it all to be dealt with by a peace treaty negotiated on the lines and in the dignified way in which the last Peace Treaty was negotiated. We want action of the most vigorous and instantaneous kind. What I want is this: when an Army from the West is advancing, we will suppose, upon one or more parts of Germany, there should be accompanying the Army or immediately behind them a Committee that would be able to decide finally any questions of difference, which would result in all these countless things which I have mentioned being sent back to the countries despoiled by taking them from the people who are in possession of them. In particular I want this: I want our Government to tell the Germans in the most direct way that if they destroy a 82 Town—we will say the town of Brussels—when they are forced to leave it, or take away from that town all sorts of articles, these particular acts, done in the course of retirement, will be regarded as matters in respect of which replacement will be insisted upon. I want the Government to say to the Germans: "These things must be replaced, whoever suffers in your own country because you have done these things deliberately."
That, I suggest, is the only way of preventing these monstrous crimes being continued right up till the time when the occupied countries get release from the intolerable pressure of the jackboot of the conqueror. I am very grateful for what the noble and learned Viscount has said. I hope that he is right in thinking that it is a great step in advance, and I hope that he and the Government will consider, as best they can, whether the arguments which I have urged are not worthy of some consideration. If they come to the conclusion that they are, I hope that they will take steps, in conjunction with the other people concerned, as the noble and learned Viscount who sits on the Woolsack has said, to render the sufferings of these unhappy countries not so bad that they are impossible to be borne. Having regard to what the noble and learned Viscount has said, I, of course, withdraw my Motion.
§ Motion for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.