§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if His Majesty's Government intends to sign the optional Clause of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, which makes recourse to the Court obligatory; how many Powers have so signed this Clause; and what is its exact effect?
§ Mr. PONSONBY
His Majesty's Government have not yet had time to examine the question raised by the hon. Member, and I cannot make any state-1058W ment of their policy in regard to it. So far as I am aware, 21 States have signed the Clause, and 15 of these have ratified their acceptance of it. Acceptance is in some eases for five years only, and is generally subject to reciprocity. As regards the last part of the question, I would ask the hon. Member to refer to Article 36 of the Statute of the Court, which has been laid before Parliament (Cmd. 1981).