HC Deb 08 December 1952 vol 509 cc11-2
12. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he now proposes to take, in view of the fact that the international panel of jurists selected to consider political activities of members of the United Nations Secretariat have now reported.

Mr. Eden

The report of the jurists has now been rendered to the Secretary-General of the United Nations with whom, as my hon. Friend stated on 24th October, the initiative in this matter rests. I am sure that he will be both willing and able to carry out his responsibility. Meanwhile, Her Majesty's Government are also studying this report.

Mr. Davies

Does not the Foreign Secretary think it would be helpful if we conveyed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations our views on this matter and if we informed him that he would have our support in resisting any undue pressure there was to engage in witch hunting based on past affiliations?

Mr. Eden

I think we ought to see the report ourselves before making any communication to the Secretary-General, but I can say this: the McCarran Committee. as I think the hon. Gentleman knows, confines its activities to United States citizens. So far as our position about our own citizens is concerned, I should at all times be willing to make that clear to the Secretary-General, and I have no doubt that he is aware of it.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the Secretary of State say whether the report of the jurists deals with the obligations of all members of the United Nations, including the United States, arising, under Article 100 of the Charter, to respect the international character of the Secretariat and to do nothing that would seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities"? Could he make the text of the jurists' report available to hon. Members?

Mr. Eden

I should like to make the text available, although I am not sure whether it is within my authority to do so. I should have to ask the Secretary-General; but I will consider the matter. My impression is that the report covers Article 100.