HL Deb 17 December 1973 vol 348 cc166-7

9.45 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the International Cocoa Organisation (Immunities and Privileges) (No. 2) Order 1973, a draft of which was laid before this House on November 20, be approved. In June of this year an Order was made under the International Organisations Act, 1968, to give legal personality to the International Cocoa Organisation. On July 25, the International Cocoa Agreement Act 1973 was passed, and on August 2 we ratified the International Cocoa Agreement 1972. This agreement, which will undoubtedly be of great benefit to developing countries whose economies depend very largely on their cocoa exports, is administered by the International Cocoa Organisation. As I said in commending the previous Order to the House, we hoped that the Organisation would establish its headquaters in London. I am glad to say that, despite considerable competition from two other European countries, our offer was accepted. I am sure the House will welcome the establishment of the Organisation in this country. It is now in process of setting up its offices in the same building as the International Coffee Organisation.

We are at present negotiating a Headquarters Agreement with the International Cocoa Organisation on the lines of those already concluded with the organisations cencerned with coffee, wheat, sugar and tin. Until this has been done, no immunities can be granted to the Organisation. However, Article 21 (4) of the International Cocoa Agreement requires the Headquarters Government to accord certain tax exemptions to the Organisation and its employees) other than our own nationals), and this is the purpose of the present Order. The exemptions it provides are based on the principle that one State should not tax another State through the intermediary of an international organisation whose funds are derived from the contributions of the member States. I commend this Order to the House.

Moved, That the Draft International Cocoa Organisation, (Immunities and Privileges) (No. 2) Order, 1973, laid before the House on November 20, 1973, be approved.—(Baroness Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie.)


My Lords, we welcome this Order.