HC Deb 03 December 1951 vol 494 cc2022-4
54. Mr. Hamilton Kerr

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Argentine Government in defiance of the agreement to abstain from naval demonstrations during the Antarctic summer, proposes to send an air and military expedition to the Falkland Islands; and whether he will lodge a protest.

Mr. Eden

I understand that the Argentine Government propose to send a relief expedition to the Falkland Islands Dependencies early this month. According to my present information, the number of ships included in this expedition does not contravene the Tripartite Naval Declarations exchanged between His Majesty's Government and the Governments of Argentine and Chile.

Mr. Kerr

Is my right hon. Friend aware that President Peron, in February of this year, publicly stated that he had refrained from military occupation of the Falkland Islands, because scientific expeditions would, bit by bit, give him possession?

Mr. Eden

I am dealing with the Falkland Islands Dependencies. There is no question of any kind of an expedition to the Falkland Islands of which I am aware. As regards the Dependencies, the arrangement is a complicated one, but, if my hon. Friend would like to see it, I will have its terms circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT, so that hon. Members can judge for themselves.

Following is the arrangement: Being anxious to avoid any misunderstanding in Antarctica which may affect the friendly relations between the United Kingdom, Argentina and Chile, the Governments of these three countries have informed each other that, in present circumstances, they foresee no need to send warships south of latitude 60 degrees during the 1951 to 1952 Antarctic season, apart, of course, from movements such as have been customary for a number of years.
57. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has made to the Governments of Chile and Argentina on their occupation of British territory in the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

Mr. Eden

His Majesty's Government have on a number of occasions protested to the Argentine and Chilean Governments against their unwarranted acts of trespass on British Antarctic territory. The texts of these documents are available in the Library. During the summer of this year, there have been no further acts of trespass warranting representations to these Governments.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that, by following the policy of the previous Government in this matter and rejecting the advice vociferously offered to him from his own side of the House for stronger action, he will earn himself widespread public approval?

Mr. Eden

I am very far from expecting anything of the kind.

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