HC Deb 14 December 1953 vol 522 c10
14. Mr. K. Thompson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he expects to conclude an agreement which will ensure that the French authorities inform British consular representatives without delay when they are holding a British subject in custody

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Paragraph (1) of Article 25 of the Anglo-French Consular Convention requires the local authorities of either country to inform the appropriate British or French consular officer immediately upon the taking into custody of one of his nationals. The Convention was signed on 31st December, 1951. The instruments of ratification are to be exchanged tomorrow and it will come into operation one month later.

Mr. Thompson

Will my hon. Friend allow me to express the gratification which will be felt by those who have relatives and friends abroad on legitimate business, who may find themselves in difficulties of this kind? Will he also take what steps he can to see that a similar agreement is put into operation between this country and other foreign countries, as well as France?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

It will give reassurance to nationals both of France and this country with regard to their friends and relations who reside or travel abroad. Negotiations are, in fact, now being carried on with a number of other countries.