HC Deb 05 May 1960 vol 622 cc1229-30
4. Mr. Royle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will state the number of missile tracking stations in the United States bases in British-controlled territories in the Caribbean area; in which territories they are situated; and if the agreement of each unit Government has been sought and obtained to the continued existence of the stations.

Mr. Iain Macleod

There are eight missile tracking stations in British islands in the Caribbean area. Four are in the Bahama Islands and one each in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua, St. Lucia and Trinidad. The prior agreement of the Governments concerned to the establishment of these stations was obtained in each case except Trinidad, where the United States already had the right under an existing agreement to establish the station, and the Government was notified that the United States were exercising that right.

Mr. Royle

Does not this show a rather large hold on the part of the United States in a British territory? Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the forthcoming tripartite conference has as its aim the ceasing of these tracking stations and also whether every territory will be represented at the conference to put forward the point of view of the individual islands?

Mr. Macleod

There is a difference between the Trinidad station and the other seven which I have mentioned. The other seven purely collect informa- tion from the missile as it passes from the long-range proving ground. The Trinidad installation is more strictly concerned with defence, and that is why the United States had the right to put an installation there under the 1941 Agreement. The talks under the 1941 Agreement which are to take place will be tripartite, but I understand that the deputation from the West Indies will include representatives of the unit Governments.

Forward to