HC Deb 05 March 1973 vol 852 cc42-3W
Mr. Madel

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the consequences for the British Deputy High Commissioners in Australia of the Australian Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1972.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Australian Government legislation to give effect to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations came into force in August 1972. Therefore with effect from 1st January 1973 diplomatic status has been withdrawn from posts and personnel outside Canberra. As a consequence our offices in State capitals—Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney—will on 31st March become consulates-general and the staff assume appropriate consular titles with corresponding privileges and immunities.

This adoption of consular titles by the United Kingdom in Australia will not automatically result in similar action in other Commonwealth countries. Nor in adopting these titles are we committing ourselves to taking on consular functions not hitherto performed in Commonwealth countries. Existing arrangements for the performance of certain statutory consular functions by the host Government will continue. It is not therefore proposed to introduce Orders in Council under Section 13 of the Consular Relations Act 1968 to enable United Kingdom consular officials to perform such functions.

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