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Diplomats (Travel Rights)

Volume 480: debated on Monday 13 November 1950

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56.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now accord to diplomats from Communist-controlled countries the same travel rights as they allow to our representatives in their countries.

As explained in the reply given to the hon. Member for Wallasey (Mr. Marples) on 18th October, the movements of our diplomatic representatives are restricted in certain Communist-controlled countries. No restrictions on the movements of representatives of Communist-controlled states are at present applied in this country, but the situation is being carefully watched.

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that, while we do not want to reproduce in this country conditions which generally compare with those in Communist countries, it is undesirable that we should allow our representatives to be so restricted while we allow this freedom to the representatives of those countries?

We are watching the position very carefully, and the situation has not deteriorated in those countries. We are very reluctant to adopt, in peacetime, methods more appropriate to totalitarian countries.