HC Deb 12 February 1951 vol 484 cc28-9
50. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will publish the terms of the agreement recently concluded between Great Britain, the Argentine and Chile regarding naval demonstrations in the Antarctic during the present southern summer; what information he has regarding any action taken by the Chilean Government following their expressed intention to establish a third military base in the British sector of Antarctica; and what action he has taken, or will take, in this and kindred matters.

Mr. Ernest Davies

With regard to the first part of the Question, the Governments of Argentina, Chile and the United Kingdom exchanged simultaneous declarations on 20th November, 1950, accepting a restriction of naval movements in Antarctic waters; these did not refer to land installations. The text formed part of a Press communiqué issued the same day and I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As regards the rest of the Question, I have nothing to add to the reply given on 7th February to a similar question.

Major Beamish

Is the action recently taken by the Chilean Government a breach of the agreement or not?

Mr. Davies

No, Sir. As far as the force of naval vessels is concerned, that is within this declaration. As regards the question of the establishment of shore bases, that has only been in the Press and we have no confirmation.

Following is the text: 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 1950 to 1951 Antarctic season apart, of course, from movements such as have been customary for a number of years.