Wherefore we will,

and firmly decree

All aforesaid liberties,

Shall be free


For themselves and their heirs

From us and our heirs

In all manners

in all places, forever


Whereas the Members            

of the General Assembly of the United Nations

have proclaimed                        

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved.

And whereas the Declaration proclaimed                    

that every organ of society                                          

should strive to secure their universal observance      

Wherefore we will and firmly decree


That the English Church

shall be free

And that the subjects of our realm

shall have and hold

All aforesaid liberties, shall be free.

Rights and concessions,

Freely, quietly,

Duly and in peace,

Fully, entirely.

Wherefore we will and firmly decree

All aforesaid liberties shall be free.


Forever shall be free.


The late 1940s and 1950s were the autumn of the Victorian Age.


By the end of the decade Macmillan, the last Victorian born Prime Minister, could declare, ' You have never had it so good.'


People had rebuilt their communities at great speed, fuelled by a common purpose inherited from the war.

The Empire was evolving into a commonwealth with a young queen at it's heart.


With war in abeyance, material progress was embraced steadily by those whose expectations had been straightened by depression and war.

It was a long way from the early industrial wasteland of 100 years earlier.



But things were still made.

And faith remained in big universal ideas: a welfare state, social housing, education for all, and fundamental human rights.



Being the autumn of the Victorian Age, attempts were made to restore public morality, which once more exposed hypocrisy,

and life was still cheap.

On the other hand, thirty years of war and depression had flattened the inequality in wealth a little.


The urchin wraith was smiling.



And on his return from Nuremberg he pursued these themes in papers and speeches.



There is in each of us a sundial factor of our mentality.  We are inclined only to count the sunny hours.  

Moreover after exhausting wars men tend to suffer a weariness of mind.  

This lassitude can make them shrink away from facing the limitations of human nature.  

It can produce a facile scepticism about their evil deeds.  

New generations dislike reading the history of the gas chambers,

and so the fact that men claiming to be civilized put millions to death in the gas chambers slip from history.





Most people approach the subject of War Crimes Trials fundamentally either as cynic or idealist.

This is, I think, because in essence the case for or against trying war criminals depends on that controversial subject

which has become succinctly known as human rights. Your cynic says, "Human Rights? There are none."


Your idealist, however, takes the view that there are certain rights and freedoms not created by lawyers

but to which mankind as such are heir and which cannot be alienated. It is a conception akin to the idea of the Law of Nature

which had such a wide influence on relationship in past centuries, although now somewhat outmoded.

The idea of fundamental Human Rights is one in which I firmly believe.





We have found safety with all things undying,

The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,

The deep night, birds singing, and  clouds flying,

And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.


We have found safety,

We have found safety that’s not for Time's throwing,

We have found safety,

Blest security,

‘Who is so safe as we?’



If our unfortunate generation has proved one thing it has demonstrated that the barbarian is not behind us

but always underneath us ready to rise up.



Deep night, morning, sleep and freedom,


The stir of wonder, birds singing, and tears of men and mirth,

We have found safety, and freedom, in the autumnal earth,

We have found safety, in winds, and clouds flying,

We have found safety, with all things undying,


We have found safety that’s not for Time's throwing,

We have found safety, and blest security,

We have found safety, and freedom, in the autumnal earth,


Deep night, morning, sleep and freedom



We have found safety with all things undying,

The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,

The deep night, birds singing, and  clouds flying,

And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.


We have found safety

We have found safety that’s not for Time's throwing

We have found safety

Blest security,

‘Who is so safe as we?’

‘Who is so safe as we?’


It is impossible not to look back without distress at the hopeful and enthusiastic beginnings

of the Western Europe Movement, which so quickly were to dissolve into 'doubt, hesitation and pain'.

To those of us who believed passionately in European unity it was an enthralling period, like the dawn of a new era.


It seems almost incredible were it not true, that we should have had so contemptuously thrown over an opportunity for leading Europe into an economic, military, moral and cultural unity without parallel in her long, tortured history.




The Committee of Minsters have left out Human Rights so we must try to get the Assembly to put it back.....

If the Council  of Foreign Ministers do not take it after the assembly has approved as I believe it will, we are going to have a magnificent row about the rights of the assembly as well as the rights of man. I can’t think what made the ministers reject it.


Mo. This is the place in which we meet and hold the Parliament of Europe. The room has most fascinating tapestries.

All the same, I wish I were at Seaview.



We have been tremendously busy. The committee on Human Rights sat all Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and this morning.

After long debates the committee satisfactorily agreed to the draft which Tietgen and I had prepared but it was very tense

as a very clever Belguim socialist called Rolin, who is president of their Senate, united with Thomas to kill offthe idea of a court.


The level of debate was very high indeed, but keeping discussion within bounds and then yesterday putting 14 resolutions

required absolute application. All the continentals are however very kind and complimentary about my presiding.



Darling Mo, This is the new assembly. I have marked Daddy's seat with an x. I hope you had a good journey. I had.

Please give all at Shorn my love. Love & kisses from Mummy



After a second blood bath, they are, on the continent of Europe, looking to international organisations by which States take joint action

to buttress things, which at the beginning of this century were taken for granted. The absence of arbritrary imprisonment,

torture and official murder, the presence of freedom of thought, of religion, of marriage and political association.


Arrow black small

Governments of Europe,          

like-minded, with a common heritage

of freedom, ideals, political traditions

and the rule of law

are in a position

to take the first step towards collective enforcement

of the Rights stated in the Universal Declaration

and strive to secure their universal observance

Now the parties, re-affirm

their profound belief in these

Fundamental Freedoms

the foundation of justice

and peace in the world

and are best maintained

by political democracy

common understanding

and observance of Human Rights

of Human Rights


on which they depend




There are waters

There are waters blown



One day in 1947 Winston called me across the smoking room of the House of Commons and asked me if I would join

the committee of the United Europe Movement, of which he was chairman.

I had always been anxious to do something positive after the part I had played in destroying Nazi ideology, and I accepted with enthusiasm.

I wanted to do something about human rights.



There are waters

Blown by changing winds



    There are waters,

There are waters blown,

Stormy waters,

Blown by changing winds to laughter

And lit by the rich skies all day



Our draft had as its basis security for life and limb, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom from slavery and compulsory labour,

freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of marriage, the sanctity of the family, equality before the law,

and freedom from arbitrary deprivation of property.


I was very anxious that we should get an international sanction in Europe behind the maintenance of these basic decencies of life.



There is safety,

Shored in the dark tides  of a world at rest

War knows no power.

We are secure and blest.

Unshaken and free we shall stay.


And after,

Frost, with a gesture,

Stays the waves that dance

And wandering loveliness.

He leaves a white unbroken glory,

A gathered radiance,

A width,

A shining peace,

Under a tranquil night.



Between the Congress at the Hague and the first meeting of the Assembly of the Council of Europe at Strasbourg,

I devoted considerable further study to a European Convention on Human Rights.

At home I had the invaluable aid of Professor Lauterpacht of Cambridge about whom I later wrote:


“Our lunatic century is looking for a way of guaranteeing ordinary people a quiet life and there is, in my opinion,

no more noble subject to which one of our leading juris-consults could devote his pen.”



There was of course resistance to the ideas.


Human Rights in the Council of Europe has, of course, started all wrong as the results of the non-governmental committee

which drew up their wonderful plan for the European Court of Human Rights

and the extraordinary influence of what is called in the previous minute the  Council of Europe mystique.’


The then Lord Chancellor William Jowitt could not conceive of the convention or the court


‘Of course I realise that for political reasons we must - in some form or other – accept this draft Convention.

At the same time I feel bound to state that from the point of view of the administration of the law I regard this necessity

as an unqualified misfortune. Our unhappy legal experts – (two distinguished Home Office officials) –

who would have expressed their complete inability to draft a Bill (for example) to prevent the docking and nicking of horses –

have had to do their best to draw up a code compared to which the Code Napolean – or indeed the 10 commandments –

are comparatively insignificant.’



The Foreign office sighed and suggested


‘I wish some method could be devised – it really would be a most fruitful thing – by which the Lord Chancellor and Sir David Maxwell Fyfe,

who deals with things in the Assembly, could be brought together to argue things out.’



I was elected chairman of the legal and administrative committee, to which the question of human rights was referred.

I am proud of being the first British chairman of one of the principal committees of the assembly of the Council of Europe.

I made a speech in the main meeting in which I asked my colleagues to accept a system of collective security against tyranny and oppression.

It was, I said, a simple and safe insurance policy.



Darling Mo, We are thinking of you and hope you are having a beautiful time.

Pam and I have had a lovely day here and go on to Daddy this evening. Love & kisses Mummy




Had we taken our proper part in those years in associating ourselves warmly with the European Union,

our economic and political authority would have been enormously increased.


But the melancholy decision was taken, and Great Britain, the saviour of Europe in war,

haughtily cut herself off in peace from the Great European Renaissance.

Posterity, rightly, will deal harshly with those who quenched this flame, and who did not see until it was too late,

that idealists are often the true realists in might enterprises.