HC Deb 19 November 1952 vol 507 c1838
6. Mr. Mott-Radclyffe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he has regarding the arrest of Captain Henry Navarra by the Persian authorities; whether any Swiss diplomatic or consular representative, in charge of British interests, has been allowed to visit Captain Navarra in prison and arrange for such legal assistance as he may require.

Mr. Nutting

The Swiss Government have confirmed that Mr. Navarra was arrested on 12th November. The Swiss Legation at Tehran made inquiries immediately, but the Persian authorities refused permission to visit the prisoner on the ground that the preliminary investigation was not yet completed. The Swiss Legation are continuing to give all possible assistance in the matter.

Mr. Mott-Radclyffe

Could my hon. Friend say whether the Persian authorities have any right under international law to refuse access by the Swiss Consul to this British subject?

Mr. Nutting

I require notice of the question as to their rights under international law, but, of course, they maintain that the prisoner cannot be visited until the preliminary investigation has been completed. The Swiss Legation, for their part, will, of course, continue to make the fullest and most constant representations in this matter.