HC Deb 19 May 1930 vol 239 cc18-20
29. Mr. ALBERY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will now state in detail the nature of the particular advantages which will accrue to the Russian Trade Delegation owing to the privilege of diplomatic immunity?


As the answer is long and contains many details, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Has the right hon. Gentleman understood the question? It is a request for information as to the advantages to the Trade Delegation?


I think the hon. Member had better wait for the long answer that has been prepared and, if necessary, put down a further question.

Following is the answer:

Diplomatic immunity is only conferred on the bead of the delegation and his two deputies and the offices of the delegation which consist of the Fifth Floor, East Wing, Bush House. By reason of their diplomatic immunity these three persons enjoy the immunity from the jurisdiction to the extent generally recognised by international law. They are also exempt from Income Tax on their official salaries and income arising outside the United Kingdom, from payment of licence duties to employ male servants, to keep carriages, to drive motor cars, to use armorial bearings, to keep dogs, to carry a gun, to kill game, or to employ a gamekeeper to kill game. They are also allowed a rebate of one-third of the motor car licence duty, representing the proportion which accrues to the Exchequer for general national purposes.

The offices of the delegation are exempt from jurisdiction to the same extent as a foreign Embassy.

In conclusion, I should add that as regards commercial transactions entered into in the United Kingdom by the Trade Delegation, the Agreement expressly provides that: Any questions which may arise in respect of commercial transactions entered into in the United Kingdom by the Trade Delegation shall be determined by the Courts of the United Kingdom in accordance with the laws thereof. The property of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the United Kingdom shall be subject to such measures as may lawfully be taken to give effect to the Orders of the Courts of the United Kingdom, in so far as these Orders, have been issued in connection with transactions referred to in paragraph 6, unless it is property which, according to international law, is immune from such measures as being necessary for the exercise of the rights of State sovereignty or for the official functions' of the Diplomatic or Consular Representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
30. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Consul-General, the Vice-Consul, and members of the staff of the Soviet Consulate-General in London receive diplomatic privileges and immunities; and whether immunity attaches to the premises occupied by the Consulate?


I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend to the hon. and gallant Member for Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte) on Thursday last.

36. Captain CAZALET

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what differences are there, if any, between the diplomatic privileges accorded to the Soviet trade delegation under the recent temporary commercial agreement and the arrangements which were in operation under the 1921 agreement?


The Temporary Commercial Agreement defines precisely the number of persons entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities, and lays down clearly to what premises occupied by the trade delegation immunity attaches. In the Trade Agreement of 1921 similar priviléges and immunities were accorded to one or more official agents of the Soviet Government, but the number was left to be determined later, and there was no limitation as to the extent of the premises which would enjoy immunity.


Does the immunity cover all the premises or only administrative offices?


Only the administrative offices in which the persons who have the immunity are engaged.


Was there any immunity, in any former agreement, for premises at all?


I have answered that in the reply I have just given.