HC Deb 20 July 1955 vol 544 cc37-8W
4. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many persons receive benefits of diplomatic immunity in this country; to which bodies these persons belong; and what consideration he is giving to the possibility of limiting the scope of these benefits.

Lord John Hope

According to the latest information, 4,134 persons in all are at present entitled to diplomatic immunity in this country. Of these 2,517 are members of the staff of foreign diplomatic missions, 1,517 are members of the staff of the Commonwealth High Commissions and of the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland, and 100 belong to international organisations having their headquarters or agencies here and entitled to diplomatic immunity by virtue of Orders in Council made under the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) Act, 1950. Of the latter seventy-three are employed by agencies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, nineteen by agencies of the United Nations, seven by the International Labour Office and one by the International Sugar Council. The wives and children of these persons are by custom regarded as sharing their immunity, if resident with and dependent upon them.

As regards the last part of the Question, the House last Thursday gave a First Reading to the Diplomatic Immunities Restriction Bill which is designed to enable Her Majesty's Government to apply the principle of reciprocity in regard to diplomatic immunity and thereby to limit the number of persons entitled to it.

8. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many persons now enjoy diplomatic immunity in this country as a result of international agreements.

Lord John Hope

A hundred.

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