HC Deb 02 December 1953 vol 521 cc1151-2
41. Captain Ryder

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking to protect British Sovereignty in the Falkland Island Dependencies; and to prevent a recurrence of foreign trespassing.

Mr. Lyttelton

The Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, to which Her Majesty's Government contributes up to £100,000 annually, maintains six bases for scientific and meteorological work in the Antarctic Dependencies: and also the Royal Research ship "John Biscoe." which serves these bases. One of H.M. frigates is normally in the area during the Antarctic summer season. Her Majesty's Government have on numerous occasions in the past protested to the Argentine and Chilean Governments against unauthorised trespass on British territory in the Falkland Islands Dependencies, and have offered to refer matters in dispute to the International Court of Justice. I cannot anticipate any action it may be necessary to take if there are fresh encroachments on this British territory during the Antarctic summer season which is now opening.

Captain Ryder

Will my right hon. Friend take note that the Argentine Government have announced their intention of establishing a base, manned by their own air force, on Dundee Island?

Mr. Lyttelton

I am watching all these matters very carefuly, I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Has not the right hon. Gentleman enough trouble in other parts of the world without starting any more in the Falkland Islands?

Mr. Lyttelton

It will not be started by us but by other people, either in the Falkland Islands or in any other part of the world.