HC Deb 22 February 1954 vol 524 cc21-2
40. Lieut.-Colonel Hyde

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of the Republic of Panama consequent upon the recent withdrawal on grounds of diplomatic immunity of a charge against Ricardo Ernest Soto, a member of the Panama Consular Service, of the attempted smuggling into Northern Ireland of 1,670 watches of the approximate value of £21,000.

Mr. Nutting

The Panamanian Government have been informed that Señor Don Ricardo E. Soto, Attaché to the Panamanian Embassy in London, is no longer acceptable to Her Majesty's Government in a diplomatic capacity, and that with effect from 19th February his name has been removed from the list of persons officially regarded as entitled to claim diplomatic immunity in the United Kingdom.

Lieut.-Colonel Hyde

In view of the fact that this gentleman's diplomatic immunity has now been withdrawn, will my hon. Friend consider reinstituting court proceedings in the case?

Mr. Nutting

It is not a matter for me but for the law. Perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend would like to put down a Question.

Mr. Follick

Does not the hon. Gentleman think it wise to review the whole question of honorary attachés in the main embassies in this country?

Mr. Nutting

If the hon. Member will explain at rather greater length what he wishes my right hon. Friend to do, I might be able to assist him.