HC Deb 24 April 1967 vol 745 cc1156-7
56. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a report on the current Anglo-Spanish talks on Gibraltar.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. George Brown)

As the House is aware, the talks which were to have begun on 18th April were postponed.

On 19th April the Spanish Government informed us officially of the Prohibited Area near Gibraltar which they have declared, and gave us an explanatory memorandum. The Spanish Ambassador was asked again to call at the Foreign Office this morning to discuss this further. Meanwhile the United Kingdom Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation has been instructed to take the steps necessary to enable the matter to be considered by the current session of the I.C.A.O. Council.

Mr. Wall

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that comprehensive reply. Have protests been made to the United Nations about this further Spanish provocation?

Mr. Brown

No, Sir. I have not thought it necessary to go that far yet, but I have made very plain to the Spaniards and elsewhere what I feel. The hon. Gentleman can be quite sure that we shall carry on from here with all the force that he would wish.

Mr. Maxwell

Will my right hon. Friend say exactly what steps the Spanish are taking to hinder air transport into Gibraltar? Can he say whether he is prepared to take counter measures against them?

Mr. Brown

The answer to the first question is, "None, Sir". I do not want to give answers which would be provocative, and it would, therefore, be better if I did not answer the second question.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Will the right hon. Gentleman please dispel any doubt that the Government hold that British sovereignty over Gibraltar is inviolable unless the people of the Rock desire any change in that position? When in Washington, did the right hon. Gentleman find a sympathetic attitude on the part of the Americans to help us in this dispute?

Mr. Brown

The first suplementary question does not arise out of this Question. If the hon. Gentleman will put it down as a separate Question, I will answer it, as I have before. The second matter did not arise when I was in Washington.

Forward to