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Unesco

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 29 April 1954

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35

asked the Minister of Education what are the Government's proposals towards the association of the United Kingdom with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's Educational Travel Coupon Scheme.

Her Majesty's Government are not proposing to adopt this scheme. Arrangements already exist under which British students can apply for foreign currency to attend courses or to travel for educational purposes abroad and I have no evidence that foreign students are prevented from coming to this country because of currency difficulties due to United Kingdom regulations.

Is the Minister aware that a substantial dollar fund has been placed at the disposal of these arrangements for international exchange? Would it not help this country financially if we took part in this system instead of having to make use of our own scarce currency resources?

We think at present that our plan is better. We do not think it would be advisable to set up a separate scheme.

36

asked the Minister of Education what instructions she proposes to give to the United Kingdom delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation conference regarding the observance by that organisation of the rights of international civil servants under Article 100 of the United Nations Charter.

It is not the practice to disclose beforehand the instructions given to delegations to international conferences.

Is the right hon. Lady aware that the case of Mr. Leff and other employees of U.N.E.S.C.O. have aroused considerable concern and have been the subject of leading articles in "The Times Educational Supplement"? Will the Minister ensure that when she instructs the delegation it is asked to make certain that international civil servants are not obstructed in their employment by outside governments and that the rules of the United Nations are observed in this respect?

I understand that the executive board of U.N.E.S.C.O. at its next meeting in July is likely to consider what recommendations for amending the present staff regulations should be put to the general conference in November. It would be wrong for me to try to anticipate any recommendations which the executive board may desire to put forward for the general conference.