HC Deb 13 March 1961 vol 636 c979
43. Mr. Wall

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a further statement about recent negotiations with the Icelandic Government over fisheries limits.

Mr. Heath

The Icelandic Parliament on 10th March approved the proposals agreed between our two Governments for settling the dispute. The Exchange of Notes bringing the settlement into force accordingly took place in Reykjavik on 11th March. Copies of the Exchange of Notes embodying this settlement have been placed in the Library.

Mr. Wall

While welcoming the settlement of this rather long-standing dispute between two allies, may I ask whether my right hon. Friend can say anything about outstanding claims made by the Icelandic Government against British trawlers alleged to have been fishing inside the 12-mile limit during this period?

Mr. Heath

I am glad to say that the Icelandic Government have announced a waiver of past charges since April, 1960, when the last waiver was granted.

Mr. Crosland

Will the right hon. Gentleman observe that this agreement which appears to be for a 12-mile limit is in fact for a limit nearer 20 to 30 miles when the base lines are taken into account? What assurance have we that the Icelandic Government at the end of the three-year interim period will not put forward further claims extending, for example, to the complete Continental Shelf?

Mr. Heath

It is true that the limit is affected by the four base line changes which I announced when the agreement was proposed. As for the latter part of the hon. Member's supplementary question, he has a Question later on the Order Paper on that subject.