HC Deb 30 January 1956 vol 548 cc586-7
14. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent Her Majesty's Government's programme of increasing activity in the Falkland Islands Dependencies is having the effect of restoring British sovereignty over those bases now in illegal occupation of the Argentine and Chilean Governments.

Mr. Nutting

The recent establishment of the Royal Society's base in Coats Land, together with the Transantarctic Expedition's base in the Vahsel Bay area, brings the number of British bases to ten. Further British bases will be established this season. I should add that British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands Dependencies has never ceased to exist, and is unaffected by the illegal actions of the Argentine and Chilean Governments.

Mr. Hall

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Argentine and Chile base their claim in part upon the pact of inheritance of title from Spain, presumably under a treaty of 1494, whereby Spain and Portugal divided up the whole of the then undiscovered world between themselves? If that is so, can we expect further claims upon all territories discovered since 1494?

Mr. Nutting

I should say that that is a hypothetical question.