asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will now make a statement on the outcome of his discussions with the French Government concerning the Nantes air crash.
On 28th July, the French Government replied to our ambassador's approach to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in April and to a subsequent approach which I had personally made to the French ambassador in June. They have assured us that they are conscious of the interest on humanitarian grounds in reaching a rapid and satisfactory solution, in particular in order to meet the concerns of the families of the victims. They have accordingly decided to propose the principle of an overall compromise settlement. We have been assured that contacts with the parties in question will take place as quickly as possible to this end. The French authorities have recalled that this question as a whole remains within the jurisdiction of the French courts. They have, however, assured us that the necessary arrangements have been made to suspend the time-barring of the prosecution.