HC Deb 25 April 1956 vol 551 c1775
32. Mr. Younger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a further statement on the negotiations over the fisheries dispute with Iceland.

Mr. Nutting

No, Sir; negotiations are continuing in the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation.

Mr. Younger

Does not the Minister think that this dispute is taking an unconscionable time in dying, and is it not one of the numerous things that are causing political difficulties between Iceland and the North Atlantic Treaty Powers, including ourselves? Is there no way in which the right hon. Gentleman can speed up this apparently unending process?

Mr. Nutting

I agree that it has taken an unconscionable time, but I hope that it is now nearing a conclusion.

Mr. G. R. Howard

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that in view of the considerable leakage there has been in this matter, it would help if the International Committee was told that the sooner it can publish the papers on this matter the better for all concerned?

Mr. Nutting

Yes, Sir, but I would not wish to publish the papers prematurely and thereby jeopardise any hope of getting an agreement.

Mr. Edward Evans

Can the Minister tell us whether Iceland is prepared to make any concessions whatever to balance those made by us?

Mr. Nutting

I would ask the hon. Gentleman to await the conclusion.