HC Deb 11 December 1979 vol 975 cc560-1W
Mr. J. Enoch Powell

asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government will defer the grant of diplomatic status to the Apostolic Delegate until he is accredited in respect of Northern Ireland to the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland and not, as at present, to that hierarchy in England, in Wales and in Scotland only.

Sir Ian Gilmour

No. As a matter of courtesy the Government have already, with effect from 1 November 1979, granted diplomatic status to the Apostolic Delegate, who is thus a diplomatic agent within the meaning of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964. However, as before, he continues not to be accredited to the Court of St. James's as a head of mission.

The links between the Apostolic Delegate and the Roman Catholic hierarchy are entirely a matter for the Vatican.