Page 5, 18th February 1949

18th February 1949
Page 5
Page 5, 18th February 1949 — WIDE BACKING FOR EUROPEAN COURT
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Locations: Brussels, The Hague, London

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WIDE BACKING FOR EUROPEAN COURT

By ANDRaW BOYLE.

M.P.s on both sides of the House, as well as thoughtful private citizens I have questioned in the last few days, are unmistakably in favour of the project for a European Supreme Court of Justice suggested by Mr. Winston Churchill in a speech at London's Guildhall.

Though one or two Labour M.P.s were a trifle grudging in their admissions, the unanimous view of all I approached was: " A grand idea. Beautifully expressed, as usual, and beautifully timed."

Commented a Conservative M.P.; .. To anyone who remembers what was decided last year at The Hague Congress of Europe, the new proposal is not new at all." And indeed, returning to refresh my own memory, I found that Point Six of the draft resolution adopted at The Hague read : " . . . In the interests of human values and human liberty, the Assembly should make proposals for a Court of Justice with adequate sanctions . and any citizen of the associated countries shall have redress before the Court of any violation of his rights as formulated in the Charter (of Human Rights)."

No one I spoke to on the question doubted the tremendous moral influetice on world opinion of a Euro

pean Supreme Court, upholding the letter and spirit of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

EXAMPLE

One Labour M.P„ whom I have never known to see eye to eye with Mr. Churchill, acknowledged the fact topically: " Think of the difference it could have made recently in the case of Cardinal Mindszenty charged by the Hungarian Government with all manner of crimes involving other Western nations," he told me, " To my mind. the Court would become the rallying-point for free men everywhere who believe in truth and justice."

Sternest critic of the proposal encountered was rigorously practical Lt.-Gen. Sir Frederick Morgan, who supports it to the hilt in principle: "Without doubt this Court of Justice is a necessary step. But don't let us go chasing after day-dreams. No Court of Justice will work unless it has the power to apply sanctions."

It is this delicate problem of sanctions, to make human rights in the West inviolable, which is to be gone into at the inaugural meeting in Brussels on February 25-28 and which will be attended by Mr. Churchill, M. Speak, Belgian Prime Minister and 150 delegates from Marshall Plan countries.




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