§ 2.50 p.m.
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE) rose to move, That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (Immunities and Privileges) Order, 1959, be made in the form of the draft laid before the House on the 8th instant. The noble Marquess said: My Lords, the purpose of this Draft Order is to confer on the Organisation and officers of the Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation the legal capacity, privileges and immunities required under Article 50 of the Convention to which Her Majesty's Government is a signatory. In 1955 your Lordships approved an Order in Council conferring on the Organisation and its officers certain privileges and immunities. That Order was designed to extend to that body the type of privilege which is accorded to the Specialised Agencies of the United Nations. It was designed to cover the period pending the approval of the usual Annex which, your Lordships may 172 remember, has to be approved by the Agency and by the countries participating in the particular body, and which embodies the general pattern of immunities and privileges set out in the Convention on Privileges and Immunities which was concluded by members of the United Nations in 1947. The Organisation acceded to the Convention on Privileges and Immunities on January 16, 1959, by approving Annex XII thereto.
§ The effect of the approval of this Annex is to make slight changes in the privileges and immunities which we are required to accord to the Organisation. In order to do this, it is necessary to revoke the 1955 Order and to make the new Order, the draft of which is now before your Lordships. In the present draft Order Articles 1 to 7 are identical with the corresponding Articles in the 1955 Order. The total number of officers affected by this new Order is about 30, and their privileges and immunities remain the same as before. There is no change in the privileges and immunities accorded to Representatives. The experts who are members of the Committees of the Organisation or who are employed on its behalf will get the same privileges as Representatives, but only when they are acting in their official capacities and only in so far as it is necessary for the effective exercise of their functions. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (Immunities and Privileges) Order, 1959, be made in the form of the draft laid before the House on the 8th instant.—(The Marquess of Lansdowne.)
§ LORD SILKIN
My Lords, as the House knows, we on this side, and I imagine many other noble Lords in other parts of the House, always view these questions of extensions of privilege with a certain amount of jealousy: we are not anxious that these privileges should be extended and that people should be above the law. We recognise, however, that there are occasions when it is necessary—these matters are, of course, reciprocal—and on this occasion we do not propose to raise any objection.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to: the said Address to be presented to Her Majesty by the Lords with White Staves.