HC Deb 01 March 1965 vol 707 cc898-9
4. Mr. Longden

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether further discussions have yet taken place with a view to negotiating the special agreements under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, as suggested in a letter dated 5th August, 1964, from the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the Secretary-General following upon a letter dated 10th July, 1964, from the Permanent Representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the President of the Security Council.

Mr. George Thomson

I have nothing to add to the Reply I gave to the hon. Member on 14th December.

Mr. Longden

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this Question has been on the Order Paper for many weeks and now has been somewhat overtaken by events? What view do Her Majesty's Government take of the recent speech by the Secretary-General, which seems to imply that Chapter VII of the Charter is a dead letter?

Mr. Thomson

There are further Questions on the Order Paper about that, but we feel that the matter raised in the hon. Member's own Question is now most effectively dealt with by the new Peace-keeping Committee which has been set up.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether Her Majesty's Government still support the ruling of the International Court on Article 19 and whether the United Kingdom representative on the new Peace-Keeping Committee, which is also to discuss financial obligations, will be instructed to uphold Article 19 and that ruling?

Mr. Thomson

Of course we uphold the advisory opinion of the International Court. There are further Questions on the subject on the Order Paper.

Mr. Zilliacus

Is it not a fact that under Chapter VII of the Charter action can be taken only when the permanent members of the Security Council are unanimous, and that this refers also to the negotiation of the agreements referred to? Is it not a fact that as long as the permanent members of the Security Council treat each other as potential enemies from rival military alliances Chapter VII is clearly a dead letter? Would it not be an idea to include prominently in the Peace-Keeping Committee the question of how permanent members of the Security Council can cooperate to uphold Chapter VII?

Mr. Thomson

My hon. Friend is referring to a different matter, the question of the veto under the Charter. What is at issue here is the difficulty of setting up the arrangements envisaged under the Military Staff Committee. There has been deadlock on that question since 1948.

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