HC Deb 18 October 1949 vol 468 cc474-6
34. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Prime Minister the relationship between our Parliament and the British delegates to the Council of Europe; and in what way their activities at Strasbourg will come under review in this House of Commons.

The Prime Minister

The United Kingdom representatives in the Consultative Assembly speak and vote in the Assembly as individuals, and are not responsible to this House for the speeches which they make in the Assembly. His Majesty's Government, under the terms of the Statute of the Council of Europe, decide how the United Kingdom representatives shall be appointed and, of course, are responsible to this House in that respect. The general principles governing the appointments on the recent occasion are contained in the statements made by the Lord President of the Council on 5th May, and by myself on 2nd June. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, as the representative of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom on the Committee of Ministers, is answerable to the House for his actions in that body.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Could a report on the proceedings at Strasbourg be placed in the Library so that we can read what is happening there?

Mr. Gallacher

Nothing happens.

The Prime Minister

That is hardly a question to put to me, but I will look into it and let my hon. Friend know.

Mr. Scollan

After the recent experience we had of what took place at Strasbourg, are the Government not prepared to reconsider this question, especially in view of the irresponsible statements dangerous to the welfare of this country which were made by people who were thought by the Continentals to represent this House?

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

While agreeing with the Prime Minister's statement, may I ask whether it will be possible in the near future to have a Debate on the question of foreign affairs covering the matters that were raised at Strasbourg?

The Prime Minister

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put that Question to the Leader of the House some time on Business.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider the issue of medals to delegates whose services were not required at Strasbourg?