HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc2033-4
3 and 5. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) if he will make a statement about the establishment of a Chilean naval base in Pendulum Bay, Deception Island;

(2) what bases have been occupied by Chile in British Antarctica.

Lord John Hope

The Chilean Government had previously established three unauthorised settlements in the Falkland Islands Dependencies and they have recently set up a fourth at Pendulum Cove, Deception Island. The new settlement, which consists of a hut occupied by a small party of Chilean naval personnel, is being kept under close observation by the British authorities at Deception Island. Her Majesty's Charge d'Affaires in Santiago has protested to the Chilean Government at this infringement of British sovereignty.

Mr. Hall

Is it not a fact that the first post was set up by the Chileans in 1947 and that this infringement of our rights has been going on steadily ever since? Is it not possible to stop these unlawful acts by South American Republics who seem to be establishing their own code of international law?

Lord John Hope

Her Majesty's Government are well aware; of the seriousness of what is going on, but that is no reason why patience should not go hand in hand with firmness.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Is the original offer to remit this question to the International Court for settlement still open, and is Chile aware of that?

Lord John Hope

Yes, Sir.