HC Deb 11 March 1959 vol 601 cc114-5W
Mr. Robert Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement about the progress of negotiations for a commercial treaty with Iran.

Mr. R. Allan

Yes. The negotiations have now been concluded and the Treaty was signed in Tehran earlier today.

As the Treaty is a lengthy document, I have arranged for copies of it to be placed in the Library of the House. The text will be published shortly as a Command Paper and laid before the House in the usual way preparatory to its ratification and entry into force.

The Treaty is a full-scale Treaty of Commerce, Establishment and Navigation. It deals comprehensively with the treatment to be accorded by each Party in their respective territories to the nationals and companies of the other, and inter alia provides for "most-favoured-nation treatment" in respect of customs duties and quotas, for "national treatment" in respect of shipping and taxation, and for either "national" or "fair and equitable treatment" in respect of a variety of establishment matters. A number of its stipulations derive added value from the fact that the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade do not apply between the United Kingdom and Iran.

The Treaty will apply, in the first instance, to metropolitan territory only, but provision is made for the subsequent accession of territories for whose international relations Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are responsible.

The signature of this agreement should prove an important contribution to the growth of commercial relations between the United Kingdom and Iran. Her Majesty's Government consider that the Treaty is well designed to serve the interests of both States and, in particular, hope that, upon its entry into force, it will do much to foster the development of trade and to encourage the expansion of investment.

There are two aspects of the Treaty, apart from its intrinsic value in the economic and commercial sphere, to which special attention should be drawn. In the first place, the negotiation, within a relatively short space of time, of an agreement of such a comprehensive and detailed nature is in itself noteworthy, and demonstrates the close and cordial relations which exist between the United Kingdom and Iran. Secondly, the conclusion of such a Treaty shows once again the emphasis which the Parties to the Baghdad Pact place upon co-operation in the field of peaceful activities and in particular upon economic development.

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