International Conventions—Motions of Approval.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann approves of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women of Full Age, signed at Geneva on the 11th day of October, 1933, a copy of which was laid on the Table of the Dáil on the 24th day of November, 1937, and recommends the Government to take the necessary steps to accede to the said International Convention.

This Convention is designed to tighten up the restrictions contained in the White Salve Traffic Conventions of 1910 and 1921, to which this country is already a party. It provides that all acts connected with the International procuring of women shall be made punishable offences, irrespective of the age of the victim. The previous Conventions had made such acts punishable only in cases where the victim was under age, and this was felt to be a serious defect in preventive legislation which the present Convention is intended to remedy.

The legal provisions necessary to enable effect to be given to this Convention in Ireland are contained in the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1935. Additional legislation will not, therefore, be necessary.

The Convention is in force and has been accepted by 34 countries, including the principal European countries.

Resolution put and agreed to.

I move:—

That the Dáil approves of the Convention regarding the Abolition of the Capitulations in Egypt, signed at Montreux on May 8th, 1937, a copy of which was laid on the Table of the Dáil on 6th day of April, 1938, and recommends the Government to take the necessary steps to ratify the said Convention.

The Convention abolishes the old régime of the capitulations under which nationals of certain foreign States were exempted from the jurisdiction of the Egyptain courts. A transitory régime of mixed tribunals composed of Egyptain and foreign judges is substituted by the Convention, to last until 1949. The mixed tribunals will be generally competent to try civil, commercial and criminal cases concerning foreigners.

The Régime of foreign capitulations originated in the Ottoman Empire, and was extended to Egypt when that country was part of the Ottoman Empire. The Treaty of Lausanne, 1923, abolished the capitulations in Turkish territory, but the provisions for abolition did not extend to Egypt. Irish nationals in Egypt succeeded to capitulatory rights by virtue of a number of treaties which were applied to our nationals at a time when our country formed part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. As a high contracting party to the Montreux Convention we will henceforth be entitled to have Irish nationals recognised as such by the mixed tribunals. Further, the mixed tribunals will be required to ascertain and apply Irish law in any case which may involve the personal status of an Irish citizen (marriage cases and the like).

Article 9 of the Convention makes it possible for States which formerly possessed consular courts in Egypt to retain them for the purpose of cases involving the personal status of their respective nationals. Apart, however, from the difficulty of arguing that Article 9 is applicable to Éire, which merely succeeds to a capitulatory Power, viz., the late United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, it is thought to be more in the interest of Egypt, now generally recognised as a sovereign State, to submit Irish personal status cases to the mixed tribunals. The plenipotentiary of Saorstát Éireann at Montreux (who signed the Convention on our behalf), acting on instructions, disclaimed any desire on the part of the Government to avail of Article 9 of the Convention.

Ratification on behalf of Éire will not entail necessity for any new legislation.

The Convention is already in force and has been ratified by Egypt, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Netherlands and New Zealand.

Resolution put and agreed to.

I move:—

That the Dáil approves of the International Convention concerning the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace, signed at Geneva on the 23rd September, 1936, a copy of which was laid on the Table of the Dáil on the 6th day of April, 1938, and recommends the Government to take the necessary steps to accede to the said International Convention.

This Convention is the result of a special conference held at Geneva in September, 1936, at which Ireland was represented.

The objects of the Convention are twofold. It endeavours to prevent broadcasting from being used in a manner prejudicial to good international understanding, and it encourages the utilisation of broadcasting to promote better mutual understanding between peoples.

The parties to the Convention undertake to stop radio transmissions within their terriotories likely to incite populations to acts incompatible with each other's internal order or security. Broadcasts provocative of war are to be banned. The parties to the Convention similarly undertake to provide for the broadcasting within their territories of information given them, at their own request, by each other where such information is calculated to develop the good relations of the peoples concerned and to contribute to the organisation of peace.

Accession on behalf of Ireland will not entail necessity for any new legislation or expenditure of public funds.

Resolution put and agreed to.