Maritime Consultative Organisation (Immunities and Privileges)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1959.

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Photo of Commander Robert Allan Commander Robert Allan , Paddington South 12:00 am, 20th July 1959

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (Immunities and Privileges) Order, 1959, be made in the form of the draft laid before this House on 8th July. The House will remember that in July, 1955, we approved an Order conferring upon the Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation certain immunities and privileges. At the time it was known that these would have to be altered when the Organisation acceded to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialised Agencies by approving Annex XII of the Convention. This they did in January of this year, and the Convention came into force in February. We now, therefore, propose to revoke the 1955 Order and replace it by the one before the House tonight.

The main difference between the two Orders is very small, and is largely confined to making the changes which are necessary to give effect to the Annex. There is no difference in the first seven Articles. The main difference in Article 8 is that it expressly relates the immunities given to those accorded to an envoy of a foreign Power. Article 9 specifies the Secretary-General and the Secretary of the Safety Committee as the only holders of offices to be accorded full privileges and immunities. It excludes citizens of the United Kingdom so long as the headquarters of the Organisation remain in the United Kingdom.

Article 10 specifies the other classes of officers who are to enjoy limited privileges and immunities, and Article 11 confers on experts privileges and immunities when acting in their official capacity.

Although these Orders are by their nature somewhat complicated, I do not think that this one is controversial, and I hope that with that rather brief explanation the House may feel able to approve it.