HC Deb 30 May 1951 vol 488 cc195-7
9. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the official announcement by the Argentine Government that Argentina has established a fifth naval base in the Antarctic, at Punta Proa in Graham Land; and what action is being taken by His Majesty's Government to resist this further invasion of British territory.

Mr. H. Morrison

Yes, Sir. His Majesty's Government have protested locally and through the diplomatic channel. As regards the general policy of His Majesty's Government towards this dispute, I have nothing to add to the statement made on 23rd April.

Brigadier Medlicott

Is it not clear that the Government are establishing an extremely dangerous precedent by their mishandling of this matter; and is it any wonder that the Government's failure to react strongly to this challenge has been a direct invitation to other nations to challenge us in vital matters in other parts of the world?

Mr. Morrison

This is a most remarkable series of assertions, assumptions and propaganda statements. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer the question."] That is what I am doing. Even a Minister is entitled to be heard. His Majesty's Government have asserted and are maintaining the rights of this country.

Sir Herbert Williams

When the right hon. Gentleman was Home Secretary during the war, if somebody had invaded his house, would he not have chucked them out? Why should he not do the same with the Argentine who are improperly occupying British territory?

Mr. Morrison

When I was Home Secretary I claimed no more rights for myself than for any other citizen.

Captain Ryder

Could the right hon. Gentleman say what the terms of the protest were, and how they were delivered locally?

Mr. Morrison

Not without notice.

Mr. H. Hynd

Will my right hon. Friend resist these continual efforts on the part of the Opposition to start more wars?

Brigadier Medlicott

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.