HC Deb 28 February 1966 vol 725 c895
31. Mr. Clark Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the result of his discussion with the Venezuelan Government on the Venezuela-British Guiana boundary; what assistance he has given to the Guiana authorities on this matter; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. M. Stewart

The Agreement signed by the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, the Prime Minister of British Guiana and myself at Geneva on 17th February will shortly be laid before the House as a White Paper. Her Majesty's Government have been in the closest touch with the Government of British Guiana, both before and during the Geneva Meeting. I believe that this agreement has dispelled the cloud which threatened to overshadow the independence of British Guiana, and I hope that it will pave the way for a friendly relationship between independent Guyana and Venezuela.

Mr. Clark Hutchison

I wish to thank the Foreign Secretary for that Answer. But does he realise that this boundary was fixed in 1899? What has given rise to the dispute now? Will he make sure that British Guiana loses no territory at all?

Mr. Stewart

After the talks in Geneva one can hardly fail to be very well aware that this was settled in 1899. The controversy arose from a Venezuelan claim that the award given in 1899 was invalid, a view which we did not accept. However, the agreement has now been made, to the full satisfaction of our friends in British Guiana, of Venezuela and ourselves, and I believe that it augurs well for the future.