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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the United Kingdom has yet ratified the agreement reached in 1957 between the member nations of Western European Union to make legal provision for the protection of private interests from abuses to which the exercise of the control of armaments might give rise.
Before the agreement can be ratified, an Order in Council is required to grant diplomatic privileges and immunities to certain officers of the Tribunal which is to be set up under the agreement. This Order in Council is being prepared, but is not, I am sorry to say, yet ready for laying before the House.
Can my hon. Friend give any indication of when this Order will be ready to be laid before the House? Is he aware that until this agreement is ratified the control of arms in Western Europe cannot be so effective as it was intended under the Treaty? Would he not agree that effective control even among friendly nations would be of great value as a guide towards the wider national agreement to which everybody looks forward?