HC Deb 02 February 1970 vol 795 cc16-7
20 and 21. Sir R. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) on what date the Legal Committee of the International Civil Aviation Organisation will meet to consider the draft convention on the prevention of hijacking of aircraft.

(2) what consultations he has had with international organisations, other than the International Civil Aviation Organisation, about the need for action to prevent the hijacking of aircraft.

Mr. Foley

The draft Convention will be considered by the Legal Committee at its next Session, due to start on 9th February. Her Majesty's Government have played an active part in the consideration of the hijacking problem in the United Nations General Assembly and at the ad hoc meeting in Washington in December, referred to in my reply of 26th January to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner).—[Vol. 794, c. 245–6.]

Sir R. Russell

Since the number of planes hi-jacked has doubled every year since 1967, will the hon. Gentleman press the Legal Committee to exert some speed in dealing with this problem? Secondly, could he say what representations have been made to the Syrian Government, which treated as a hero the Frenchman who hi-jacked a T.W.A. aircraft in Damascus?

Mr. Foley

On the latter part of the question, I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the debate in the United Nations General Assembly in December, when there was overwhelming support for a resolution condemning the hi-jacking of planes. On the first part of the supplementary, the Legal Committee will report by the end of March, and then under the rules of procedure it will be six months before the convention comes up for final ratification.

Mr. Rankin

Has any thought been given to the arming of air crews on international routes?

Mr. Foley

The matter was raised in the General Assembly in December. It has also been discussed in the legal committee of the appropriate airline pilots' association without any decision having been taken.

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