§ 1. Brigadier Rayner
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when the report will be available of the Inter-Departmental Committee on State Immunities.
§ The Minister of State (Mr. Younger)
I am informed by Lord Justice Somervell, the Chairman of the Committee, that the Committee wishes that its recommendations should be based upon a thorough consideration of all the aspects of the matter, including an investigation of the law and practice of foreign countries in this sphere, and, consequently, there is no possibility that the Committee will be ready to report before the end of the present Session.
§ Brigadier Rayner
In view of the fact that it is more than a year since the Tass News Agency cruelly libelled journalists and got away with it on the ground of diplomatic immunity, and in view of the fact that it is quite wrong that Russian news agencies should enjoy privileges in this country which are not enjoyed by our own Press associations and journals in Russia, would the hon. Gentleman press the Lord Chancellor for an earlier report?
§ Mr. Younger
No, Sir, I do not think we can do that. The advice we have had 1261 from the learned Chairman of this Committee is that it will take some time, and I think that we must accept that advice.
Order. I do think it is wrong for an hon. Member to walk in front of another hon. Member who is on his feet addressing the House, even if he bows. I think he ought to wait.
It is wrong for an hon. Member to walk straight in front of another hon. Member, even if he bows. After all, it is not done. The hon. Member should have waited behind until the hon. and gallant Member had finished asking his supplementary question.
I think, if I may say so, that the hon. Member might have waited until the hon. and gallant Gentleman had finished putting his question.