§ 1. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the present position of the talks in which Her Majesty's Government recently engaged under the auspices of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation on the subject of the Icelandic fisheries dispute; which talks were treated as private although they affect the British fishing industry and consumers; and if he will now inform the House of their scope, purpose and result.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)
The discussions are in suspense at present because Iceland has a caretaker Government until after the elections on 24th June. I earnestly hope that with the co-operation of the new Icelandic Government we shall be able to settle this unfortunate dispute without further delay.
§ Mr. Hughes
While thanking the Secretary of State for the hope expressed at the end of his Answer, may I ask him whether he does not agree that the relevant problems are of great public importance; that these talks should not be 1400 conducted in a hole-and-corner way, and that industry and consumers generally should be aware of what is being discussed?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I think the right thing to do is to conduct the talks in such a way as to try to get results. The negotiations were going well, I think, until the caretaker Government was formed, which enforced a compulsory halt in the negotiations, but we intend to press on with them as quickly as we can afterwards.