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General Assembly (Observers)

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 21 February 1962

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asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has now come to a conclusion as to the advisability of appointing Members of Parliament as observers to the United Nations General Assembly for three-week periods, in addition to the official delegates, as is done by the Canadian Government.

Certain problems would arise from adopting this interesting suggestion, but we will continue to keep it in mind.

Is my hon. Friend aware that this practice has been a great success as carried out by Canada? While recognising the greater economic problem involved here, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he does not think that, in view of this country's increasing responsibility towards the United Nations, it would be invaluable if hon. Members had this opportunity, in addition to those who attend as official delegates?

Yes, Sir. I agree that it would be of real value to hon. Members who have not had the opportunity of attending these debates to go there. There is the question of cost, which I am sure my hon. Friend realises. I know that the Canadians are able to follow this course—they are much more conveniently situated—and I will continue to keep the matter in mind.