Anglo-French Military Service Agreement

Oral Answers to Questions — United Nations – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1964.

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Photo of Mr Alan Hopkins Mr Alan Hopkins , Bristol North East 12:00 am, 14th December 1964

asked the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give an assurance that no British subject by birth of French parents, having served in Her Majesty's Services, will, under the Anglo-French Military Service Agreement of 1952, be liable for military service in France.

Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore

The greement of 1952 provided that Anglo-French dual nationals who fulfilled their military obligations in the one country would be considered to have fulfilled them also in the other country. However, Article Nine provided that nothing in the Agreement should prevent either of the parties in an emergency from calling up the persons referred to for further service or from placing them on the reserve list. Moreover, under the terms of the Agreement, only those who are considered to have fulfilled their military obligations while compulsory military service was in force in this country are still entitled to any benefit from the Agreement in France.

Photo of Mr Alan Hopkins Mr Alan Hopkins , Bristol North East

Would the hon. Gentleman confirm that the Agreement is in force? Has it yet been ratified? What is the position if a British subject by birth, having served, goes to France? Can he be detained there, and, in those circumstances, what would the Government do about it?

Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore

This is a rather complicated issue. The Agreement is not in force, in the sense that the French Government have never given the required notification that constitutional approval has been obtained. But since 1952 it has been regarded as provisionally in force and has been applied administratively in both countries. It would be much better for the hon. Gentleman to await the reply to the specific case which he has raised with me.