HC Deb 24 November 1954 vol 533 cc1240-2
28. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply has been received from the Peruvian Government to the United Kingdom's protest last August against the 200-mile limit on Peruvian territorial waters.

30. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the Governments of Chile, Peru and Ecuador on their claim that the limits of their territorial waters extend to 200 miles from their coast lines.

Sir Anthony Eden

Acting on my instructions Her Majesty's Ambassador delivered to the Peruvian Government on 31st August last a note which stated the reasons why Her Majesty's Government refused to recognise the Peruvian claim to territorial waters extending to a breadth of 200 miles. It also placed on record Her Majesty's Government's view that they did not in principle recognise any claims to territorial waters more than three miles wide. That note did not call for a reply.

Similar notes had been delivered to the Governments of Ecuador and Chile on 11th and 12th August last, respectively. These were the last notes in a series of representations to these three Governments.

Lieut-Colonel Lipton

Does the answer mean that the note of protest delivered on 31st August did not call for a reply? Is that what the right hon. Gentleman said?

Sir A. Eden


Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Then does that explain perhaps why British prestige has sunk to such a low level in South America that all our protests are dismissed with contemptuous indifference?

Sir A. Eden

The hon. and gallant Gentleman could not possibly be more inaccurate. If he is referring to the recent incidents 200 miles from the coast of Peru, I must remind the hon. and gallant Gentleman that Mr. Onassis, though born a Greek, is now a citizen of the Argentine, and that the crews are German and Norwegian. We have locus standi in respect of the insurance and because we do not agree to this limit which has been imposed, but that is the extent of our interest in the matter.

Mr. Hall

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he is pressing representations, because the amount of insurance interests with which this country is concerned is very considerable indeed?

Sir A. Eden

I am well aware of that, but that is not the same issue as that which is the subject of these Questions.

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