§ 50 and 51. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) if he is aware that the United Nations International Law Commission at Geneva has approved a series of 10 Articles dealing with "The Freedom of Fishing"; that the draft of these Articles has been sent to the Governments represented on the Commission for their views; if the British Government has yet considered their draft of the said Articles; and with what result;
(2) if he has yet received from the International Law Commission, at Geneva, the Report of that Commission entitled, "The Régime of the High Seas; and if he will now state the policy of the British Government in relation to that Report.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. R. H. Turton)
Her Majesty's Government have as yet received none of the sets of draft Articles drawn up by the International Law Commission. My right hon. Friend cannot, therefore, comment upon them.
§ Mr. Hughes
Is the Minister aware that I should not have the slightest objection to his answering the two Questions together if he gave a comprehensive answer? Is he not aware that Britain has a representative at the Conference to which I have referred? Surely he has some information upon the subject? If not, when does he expect it?
§ Mr. Turton
It is not accurate to say that Britain has a representative at the Conference. I expect that the Commission's Report will arrive in some weeks. It is quite clearly inappropriate for my right hon. Friend to comment upon draft Articles which he has not yet received.
§ 53. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the United Nations International Law Commission at Geneva has issued a Report on Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas; if he has considered it; and what action the British Government proposes to take regarding that Report.
§ Mr. Turton
The Report to which the hon. and learned Member refers was issued by the Technical Conference on the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea, which met at Rome from 18th April to 10th May, and was convened in order to aid the International Law Commission in drawing up its draft fishery articles. These will be circulated to Governments for their comments, and will then be drawn up in final form by the Commission at its session next year. The question of taking action on the Report does not therefore yet arise, but Her Majesty's Government in general welcome the Report as a valuable contribution to the study of fishery conservation.
§ Mr. Hughes
In view of the great importance of this matter to three British industries, fishing, shipping and shipbuilding, will the Minister not issue a White Paper indicating the policy of the Government in this regard so that those industries may have the earliest possible notice of what is coming to them?