§ 45 and 46. Mr. Dodds
asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) what progress has been made in negotiations with Spain in removing restrictions on the entry of Spanish nationals and other foreign nationals as visitors to Gibraltar by the land frontier, and also in removing restrictions on the entry of Spanish labour into Gibraltar;
(2) what progress has been made in negotiations with Spain in removing restrictions on commercial relations with Gibraltar; and what has been the result of efforts made for the resumption of normal cultural and sporting relations between Spain and Gibraltar.
§ Mr. Jeger
Is the Lord Privy Seal not aware that lots of things have been happening on this frontier since those discussions took place and that, for example, a ballet company which was invited by Gibraltar to perform there was refused permission to leave Spain to perform at a music festival in Gibraltar? Will the Lord Privy Seal impress on the Spanish Government the fact that if they want to improve relations with Britain, a more civilised way of behaving by them towards their nearest neighbour might induce us to be more friendly towards them?
§ Mr. Dodds
Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that on the points I have put in my two Questions no progress has been made? If, indeed, progress has been made, what is it? At the same time as he is looking into this case of the Spanish ballet company, does it surprise the Lord Privy Seal to know that the Spanish authorities will not let Spanish football teams play in Gibraltar and labour permits are not being granted and Spaniards are left unemployed rather than being allowed to work in Gibraltar? Why cannot they allow Spanish nationals and other visitors to go to Gibraltar? How can we be friendly with a country like that when they are playing such a shoddy trick on a most loyal part of the British Commonwealth?
§ Mr. Heath
I am aware of the points that the hon. Gentleman has raised. The Foreign Secretary when he was in Madrid included these matters in the subjects of his conversations, but it is too short a time to expect action since then. My noble Friend is keeping in touch with the Spanish Foreign Minister. What is equally clear is that these things will not be improved by being hostile to the Spanish Government. We must try to improve them by keeping the relations good.
§ Mr. Dodds
Does the Lord Privy Seal not understand that friends of Gibraltar have been asking for this information for four, five or six years and have been persuaded to keep quiet on the ground that diplomacy would be the better course. Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that this has all failed and that he will hear a lot more about the matter if something is not done?