asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek a reduction of the numbers of staff in foreign missions in London for which immunity from traffic penalties is allowed, in view of the large number of offences committed, in particular by the missions of Poland, Nigeria and Ghana at a rate of four such offences each day in 1968 to date.
§ Mr. Mulley
No. To reduce the levels of immunity in this way would be a breach of the United Kingdom Government's international obligations.
The grant of immunities on the present scale to members of diplomatic missions in London is an obligation deriving from the United Kingdom Government's ratification of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Her Majesty's Government consider the Vienna Convention to be declaratory of international law in this field and its immunity provisions have been given statutory effect in the United Kingdom by the Diplomatic Privileges Act, 1964.