HC Deb 08 December 1952 vol 509 c14
22. Sir R. Acland

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how far British citizens employed in the United States of America at the United Nations organisation's headquarters enjoy full diplomatic immunity.

Mr. Eden

No British subject employed by the United Nations in the United States enjoys full diplomatic immunity, but the United States Government accords officers and employees of international organisations located in the United States such immunities and privileges as are provided under the relevant United States laws. The most important are exemption from United States income tax on official emoluments and immunity from suit or legal process in respect of official acts, though the exemption from taxation does not apply to American citizens.

Sir R. Acland

Would the right hon. Gentleman make it clear that in regard to British citizens so employed, no question of their loyalty can arise except their loyalty to the United Nations, and that there could not be any question of their special loyalty to the United States or to any other individual country?

Mr. Eden

I do not think there is anything in what the hon. Baronet has said to which I could take exception.

Mr. Donnelly

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all the political tests being applied at United Nations, regardless of the individuals concerned, are undermining the feeling of confidence in the impartiality of the United Nations? Is he further aware that there is a strong body of public opinion in this country which thinks that if this sort of thing does not stop there should be some thought given to the transference of United Nations to some other country?

Mr. Eden

There has already been a carefully thought-out Question to which I gave a considered reply, and I would rather stand by that.