HC Deb 20 July 1970 vol 804 c8
3. Sir R. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made with the adoption of an international convention for the prevention of hi-jacking of aircraft.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Joseph Godber)

The draft Convention on Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft prepared by the Legal Committee of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (I.C.A.O.) is to be considered at a diplomatic conference in The Hague in December. The recent Extraordinary Assembly of I.C.A.O. adopted a resolution calling upon States invited to the diplomatic conference to make every reasonable effort to reach agreement and thereafter to ratify quickly.

Sir R. Russell

Is my right hon. Friend aware that since we last discussed the question in the House, a number of aircraft have been hi-jacked, fortunately without very serious consequences? Could he try to persuade countries which are members of I.C.A.O. to expedite this matter?

Mr. Godber

I share my hon. Friend's concern about the need for speed but, unfortunately, under the I.C.A.O. rules of procedure, Governments must have at least six months in which to study. We will, however, be watching this and hurrying it up in any way we can.