Oral Answers to Questions — United Nations (Finance)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th December 1965.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South 12:00 am, 6th December 1965

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proposals have been made by Her Majesty's Government to solve the financial problems of the United Nations since the decision to waive Article 19 of the Charter.

Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East

Article 19 has not been waived. What was agreed was that the question of its applicability to the United Nations Emergency Force and the United Nations Operation in the Congo would not be raised.

Her Majesty's Government fully supported and continue to support the proposal of the General Assembly's Special Committee on Peacekeeping, which was endorsed by the General Assembly at its resumed 19th session in September. This was that the financial difficulties of the Organisation should be solved through voluntary contributions by member states. Our voluntary contribution of 10 million dollars, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced to the House on the 21st of June, was paid in August. Recourse was had to the Civil Contingencies Fund. A supplementary estimate will be presented in due course. It would not be appropriate to make other proposals until we see the full extent to which those who have not yet done so are prepared to contribute.

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

Despite what the Minister of State has said, may I ask whether he is not aware that, despite repeated assurances given in the House that Her Majesty's Government would uphold Article 19 of the Charter and the International Court, if Article 19 was not waived it was certainly skirted round? Can the Minister of State say, therefore, how it is possible to keep the principle of the Charter? As for the proposals for peace-keeping, does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is far more difficult to get individual members to accept their responsibilities if they will not enforce their own rules?

Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East

The decision was reached without prejudice to the positions of the various States. On the question of the applicability of Article 19, in the interests of the United Nations, this Government with others have to take account of the wishes of the majority. Acceding to the wishes of the majority, we agreed neither to waive Article 19 in other cases nor to wipe off the debts in this case, still less to accept that they had not been validly incurred.