§ Q1. Mr. Higgins
asked the Prime Minister what decision has now been reached by Her Majesty's Government regarding the recognition of the competence of the European Commission on Human Rights to receive petitions within the terms of Article 25 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and if he will now declare, pursuant to Article 46 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, that he recognises as compulsory,ipso factoand without special agreement, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights on all matters concerning the interpretation and application of the Convention.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)
Sir, the Government have now decided to accept, in respect of the United Kingdom and for an initial period of three years, the right of individual petition to the European Commission of Human Rights and the compulsory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
§ Mr. Higgins
Will the Prime Minister take it that his Answer will give great satisfaction to all those who have the cause of human rights at heart? I thank him very much indeed.
§ The Prime Minister
I thank the hon. Gentleman. The Council of Europe is being informed, and acceptance of these two optional clauses in the Convention will take effect from the date when we notify it to the Council of Europe.