§ 7. Mr. HACKING
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he expects the Russian trade delegation to be established in London?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
The Soviet Government became entitled to establish a trade delegation in London as from the 16th of April, the date of signature of the Temporay Commercial Agreement. I understand that the delegation is likely to be established shortly.
§ Mr. HACKING
Can the right hon. Gentleman say where the building is to be, and when it will be occupied?
§ 9. Mr. ALBERY
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will inquire as to whether the Soviet Government have in Germany or France trade delegations consisting of trade representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, with two deputies forming part of the Soviet Embassies in those countries; whether the head of the delegation and two deputies receive in those countries diplomatic privileges; and whether immunity also attaches to specific offices occupied by the delegation?
Under Articles 4 and 5 of the Commercial Treaty of the 12th of October, 1925, between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Director of the Commercial Representation, his deputies, and also the members of the Council of the Commercial Representation residing in Berlin, enjoy all the privileges and advantages of extra-territorial persons, and the offices used by the Commercial Representation in Berlin are extra-territorial. I understand that the total number of persons who enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities at Berlin under these Articles is, at present, 10.
There is no commercial treaty or trade agreement between France and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The question of the privileges and immunities to be enjoyed by the Soviet trade delegates in Paris has not formed the subject of any formal agreement.
I should like to take this opportunity of correcting an answer which I gave yesterday to a supplementary question by the hon. Member. The diplomatic privileges accorded to the Soviet Trade Delegation, including immunity of premises, are a feature of all commercial treaties and all agreements dealing exclusively with trade concluded by the Soviet Government, including those with Germany and Italy. Yesterday I made a slip in saying "France," when I should have said "Germany."
§ Mr. ALBERY
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it would facilitate the resumption of trade relationships if he could make some statement which would explain to a greater extent the actual need which there is for this diplomatic privilege?
I think I did that in reply to the question yesterday. I stated very clearly that in this particular instance the Soviet Government is a great trading concern, and that is where the need arises.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
If only trade matters are being dealt with on these trade premises, why is diplomatic immunity required? It is not required for other traders.
§ Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
Is it not a fact that this extraterritorial privilege is an entirely new privilege, and that under the trade delegation of 1921 it did not exist?
I do not think it is entirely new. I think there was some form of immunity even at the time of the Arcos raid.
§ Captain CAZALET
Will the diplomatic privileges include the remission of rates as applied to Embassies and Legations?
I do not think so, but, if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will put down a question, I will give him an answer.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Has the right hon. Gentleman any evidence which he can offer of international usage to justify the granting of this privilege?