§ 10.10 p.m.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ian Harvey)
I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges of the International Tin Council) (Amendment) Order, 1957, be made in the form of the Draft laid before this House on 22nd May.The Order placed before the House is, as I think the House knows, an amending Order to the Order to which the House agreed on 26th July, which took effect on 3rd August, and is Statutory Instrument 1956 No. 1214. This amending Order is designed to give effect to a Resolution of the International Tin Council, Cmd. 38/56, concerning the remuneration, and only the remuneration, of the Council's employees. The House is rightly very jealous of Orders concerning immunities and privileges of this sort, and it is right to make it quite clear that this one is very limited in its scope. It is limited to the salaries of the executives of the Council.
In another place, the noble Lord, Lord Reading, made it clear that as a result of certain interpretations of the original Agreement it would be necessary at a later date to move an Amendment, which, in fact, is in the form of this amending Order. The reason is that it was found that the original Order did not exempt the actual payments of employees, as opposed to the exemption of the funds of the Council.
It is only right that the House should know more or less what this involves, first of all in terms of people. The number of people is very small. The total number of executives involved is thirteen. It does not apply to British employees of the Council, and as there are seven of these 904 at present we are concerned now only with six people, although, of course, in certain circumstances, the numbers might vary.
It is also right to say that this is an agreement similar to the one which applies to members of the European Coal and Steel Community. I do not think the House would wish for any more detailed explanation of what is a very limited Order. If there are any further points on which hon. Members will require clarification, with the permission of the House, I shall be very glad to deal with them.
§ 10.14 p.m.
§ Mr. Alfred Robens (Blyth)
The Joint Under-Secretary is quite correct when he says that the House is jealous of the immunities that it grants to foreigners within our shores. At the same time, we had a very long debate on this matter when we dealt with the principal Act, the International Organisation (Immunities and Privileges) Act, 1950, in relation to this matter, and I will not go over all the arguments which were then adduced. We on this side of the House are well satisfied with the hon. Gentleman's statement.
We recognise that in this international organisation, whose funds come from other countries apart from our own, there must be some exemptions. In this case, the number of exemptions is only six, out of a total staff of thirteen, the other seven being British subjects. Accordingly, we have no objection at all to the Order.
§ Question put and agreed to.
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges of the International Tin Council) (Amendment) Order, 1957, be made in the form of the Draft laid before this House on 22nd May.
§ To be presented by Privy Councillors or Members of Her Majesty's Household.