5 Dec. 45

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, My Lord, no oral witnesses.

If the tribunal please, before I come to the first treaty I want to make three quotations to deal with a point which was mentioned in the speech of my learned friend, the Attorney General, yesterday.

It might be thought from the melancholy story of broken treaties and violated assurances, which the Tribunal has already heard, that Hitler and the Nazi Government did not even profess it necessary or desirable to keep the pledged word. Outwardly, however, the professions were very different. With regard to treaties, on the 18th of October 1933, Hitler said, "Whatever we have signed we will fulfill to the best of our ability."

The Tribunal will note the reservation, "Whatever we have signed."

But on the 21st of May 1935 Hitler said, "The German Government will scrupulously maintain every treaty voluntarily signed, even though it was concluded before their accession to power and office."

On assurances Hitler was even more emphatic. In the same speech, the Reichstag Speech on May 21, 1935, Hitler accepted assurances as being of equal obligation, and the world at that time could not know that that meant of no obligation at all. What he actually said was:

"And when I now hear from the lips of a British statesman that such assurances are nothing and that the only proof of sincerity is the signature appended to collective pacts, I must ask Mr. Eden to be good enough to remember that it is a question of an assurance in any case. It is sometimes much easier to sign treaties with the mental reservations that one will reconsider one's attitude at the decisive hour than to declare before an entire nation and with full opportunity one's adherence to a policy which serves the course of peace because it rejects anything which leads to war."
And then he proceeds with the illustration of his assurance to France.

Never having seen the importance which Hitler wished the world to believe he attached to treaties, I shall ask the Tribunal in my part of the case to look at 15 only of the treaties which he and the Nazis broke. The remainder of the 69 broken treaties shown on the chart and occurring between 1933 and 1941 will be dealt with by my learned friends.

There is one final point as to the position of a treaty in German law, as I understand it. The appearance of a treaty in the Reichsgesetzblatt makes it part of the statute law of Germany, and that