§ 78. Captain CROOKSHANK
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can make a statement regarding his negotiations with the Soviet Government?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
Yes, Sir. As the hon. and gallant Member will have seen from Command Paper No. 3552, a temporary commercial agreement between His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the Soviet Government was signed on the 16th April. Negotiations are at present proceeding for the conclusion of a temporary agreement for the regulation of certain fishery questions. Negotiations will also be begun shortly for the conclusion of a definitive treaty of commerce and navigation to replace the temporary agreement already signed. The proposals of His Majesty's Government for a formal convention regarding the application of treaties concluded with the former Imperial Russian Government have also been communicated to the Soviet Government. Negotiations with regard to the question of debts, claims and counterclaims, both intergovernmental and private, are also being pursued.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
Are we to understand that there is to be diplomatic immunity in connection with the commercial treaty, and, if so—
§ Mr. SAMUEL
Is so, what is the position in the case of a dispute about a contract? Will it be possible for any merchant in Britain to serve a writ upon the Soviet Delegation, or compel attendance in our courts of law?
§ Mr. SMITHERS
Before the definitive treaty is signed, will the right hon. Gentleman make the signature conditional on some settlement of the debt question?