HC Deb 15 February 1956 vol 548 cc2339-40
16. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations have been made to Spain in view of the economic and labour difficulties of Gibraltar arising from restrictions imposed by Spain.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Douglas Dodds-Parker)

Her Majesty's Ambassador at Madrid has on a number of occasions, and again recently, represented to the Spanish Government that Her Majesty's Government deplore the abnormal—-and in some cases discriminatory—restrictions which have lately been imposed upon intercourse between Gibraltar and Spain. He has urged the Spanish Government to remove these restrictions as harmful to the economies of Gibraltar and Spain, as well as to relations between Spain and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Dodds

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that this has been going on for over two years? Is he not further aware that in the Madrid newspaper El Pueblo a few days ago it was stated that 5,000 Gibraltarians had left the Rock in 1955 because of the economic depression created by 'the Spanish economic blockade? Why cannot we do something about it, as we are flirting for friendship with Spain?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I have no information on the latest point which the hon. Gentleman raised. I suggest that he should put down a Question to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Mr. K. Robinson

Would the hon. Gentleman say whether his Department has asked for the assistance of the American Government in making representations to Spain, which might be more effective than representations made by us?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

No, I think it is much better that we should handle this matter ourselves.

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