HC Deb 19 February 1958 vol 582 cc1184-5
7. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to assist in the completion of the two international agreements, one relating to civil and political rights and the other to economic, social and cultural rights, in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights begun in 1955.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The hon. Member is no doubt referring to the draft International Covenants on Human Rights which were prepared by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and transmitted in 1954 to the General Assembly where they have since been under consideration in the Third Committee. We have taken a full part in all the discussions on these Covenants.

Mr. Pargiter

Might I be assured that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, when dealing with this matter, is not dragging his feet so far as Britain is concerned, and that there is no connection between the delay which is taking place and the desire of his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies that the Declaration of Human Rights shall not be published too widely in the Colonial Territories?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

No, Sir, I do not think it is that at all. If the hon. Gentleman would like to look at the records—which are extremely voluminous—of the discussions on this subject in the Third Committee, I think he will see that it is by no means due to the British delegation that progress is so very slow. It is an incredibly difficult subject on which to get agreement between eighty different nations.