United Nations covenant on human rights

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United Nations covenant on human rights

U.N. Covenant on Human Rights

H.M. 

I don't know anything about this – except that we are in a mess.
Started as anti-S. propaganda.  As it goes on, it looks as tho' it will put us on the spot – esp. re Colonies.
J. No use takg. narrow legal point of view.  Ques:  is it really important qua f. policy?
Work of cranks.  Vague language – formulae by compromise.
Hence obscurity of language out of place in a code.
But, for f. policy reasons, we signed the C/Europe Convention.
We decided we cdn't put in reservations.  Thereafter, 3 Protocols.
Elections not bad:  property (will put us in diffies over £300 m. c. & betterment):  education very awkward here & in Colonies.
If we signed this one, we cdn't keep Tsekedi out of Bamangwato Reserve.  Nor deport stowaways – under fresh legislation.
Art. 3:  effect on sentries.
We have never before thus limited sovereignty of our Parliament.
Tho' I give way at once on all these points if F.O. say this is essential for f. policy.
But if we go on, let's look v. narrowly at every Article.

H.D. 

On C/Europe Convention, have we not excluded jurisdn of court.

J. 

Yes:  but we may be pressed to accept it later.

H.D. 

In doing so, we made it clear we were satisfied with our law.

J. 

On U.N. Covenant:  we have proposed some judicial power to pronounce wtr. our legn is satisfactory.  This therefore is much more dangerous than the C/Europe.

H.M. 

I am sceptical of f. policy value.  Totalitarian states will ignore it anyway.  I wd. have preferred manifesto, vice covenant.  I wd. wish to play it slow:  get it so muddled tht. nothg. will happen.

H.D. 

At least, take no fresh initiative.

J.G. 

Col. appln clause is out now, by U.N. vote.  We couldn't apply this Covenant in Colonies.
Tho' politically dangerous for us to w'draw.
If we stay in, we mght. guide discn usefully.

J. 

Stay in & make difficulties.
V. difficult for us to walk out.

A.B. 

Existg. specialised agencies shd. handle those aspects of matter with wh. they are equipped to deal – if only "examine and report."
Wd delay:  and wd. inject an element of common sense.

G.W. 

As it stands, w'out Col. appln clause, it is unacceptable to us.
We shd. realise that.

J. 

The 3 Protocols under C/E. Convention shd. come to Cabinet.

Taken from C.M. 27(51) - Meeting held on 12 April 1951.