HC Deb 03 November 1948 vol 457 cc850-1
42. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if His Majesty's Government have replied to the communication addressed by the U.S. Government to the Governments of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, Norway, Argentina and Chile on the subject of an international solution to the problem of Antarctica, and if he is in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir. His Majesty's Government have been carefully studying the proposals in question and have been in consultation with the other Commonwealth Governments concerned. While these studies and consultations are not yet complete, I am able to say that His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom welcome the initiative of the United States Government in this matter, and regard their proposals as a useful contribution towards an eventual settlement of this difficult problem on an international basis.

Mr. Gammans

Does that mean that Argentina and Chile are meanwhile still illegally occupying British territory; and are the Government still considering selling H.M.S. "Ajax" to Chile?

Mr. Bevin

The second aprt of that supplementary question does not arise. The answer to the first part is that there are still some representatives of those two Governments in those islands, but I still welcome the initiative of the United States.

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