HC Deb 14 May 1928 vol 217 cc647-9
25. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can report any further developments between His Majesty's Government and the Persian Government on the outstanding questions under discussion; and what prospect is there of the Persian Government lifting its veto on British aeroplanes in flight over Persian territory?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Austen Chamberlain)

A Treaty regulating the commercial relations between this country and Persia was signed at Tehran on the 10th of May by His Majesty's Minister on behalf of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and all other parts of the British Empire which are not members of the League of Nations, and of India. The Treaty, which has been concluded for a period of eight years, provides for the abrogation of all provisions of existing Treaties which limit in any way the right of Persia to settle her Customs tariff autonomously. It provides that, on condition of perfect reciprocity, British and Indian goods imported into Persia shall not be subject to higher duties than are the goods of any other foreign country. By this Treaty, the minimum rates in the tariff approved by the Persian legislature on the 3rd of May will be applied to British and Indian goods. It is also provided that if at any time the rates of the minimum Persian tariff are reduced on any frontier, British and Indian goods shall benefit by those reductions, by whatever frontier they are imported. In a protocol attached to the Treaty, the Persian Government reserve the right to increase the rates of the minimum tariff in the event of the duties on the chief Persian articles, other than oil, imported into Great Britain or India being increased. In an exchange of Notes, it is agreed that the Treaty shall provisionally enter into force at once pending formal exchage of ratifications, and that goods consigned to Persia before the 10th of May shall not pay rates higher than those in the 1920 Tariff.

Further Notes were exchanged at the same time maintaining in force, with a view to the conclusion within a year of a full Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, those provisions of existing Treaties which do not limit Persia's tariff auto- nomy. In particular, reciprocal mostfavoured-nation treatment of subjects and trade and the status quo in regard to the national treatment of shipping are to be continued. Other Notes exchanged regularised the position with regard to the Dominions.

As regards facilities in Persian territory for the proposed air service between Egypt and India, the Persian Government have formally stated their readiness to enter into negotiations with a representative of Imperial Airways Limited, regarding the conditions on which such a service should be operated.

With regard to the abolition of the capitulations in Persia on the 10th of May, the Persian Government have addressed to His Majesty's Minister a list of the safeguards which they are prepared to extend to British nationals in Persia; and steps are being taken to bring these safeguards to the knowledge of British nationals concerned. These safeguards are in complete accordance with the relevant provisions of Persian law as recently amended.

Finally, the Persian Government have agreed formally that missionary enterprises in Persia shall be authorised to carry on their charitable and educational work on condition of not contravening either public order or Persian laws and regulations.

In conclusion, I am happy to take this opportunity of expressing the satisfaction of His Majesty's Government at the energetic collaboration which the Persian Minister of the Court has shown in reaching this comprehensive agreement with Sir Robert Clive, of whose efforts I have already expressed my appreciation.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for the reply, may I ask if it would be convenient to him to say whether the Persian Government agrees to recognise the Government of Iraq?


I shall be glad if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will give me notice of that question. I could give a brief answer, but I would like to give a considered reply.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

I will put it down for Monday.