HC Deb 20 November 1967 vol 754 cc922-3
33. Mr. Colin Jackson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government are making to the Spanish Government concerning the continued harassment of Gibraltar.

76. Mr. George Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when the proposed talks with Spain are to commence; and what subjects have been placed on the agenda by each side.

Mr. George Brown

As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary told the House on 23rd October, I have told the Spanish Ambassador in London that talks on Anglo-Spanish relations, including the question of Gibraltar, could begin in the near future between senior officials of the two Governments. In these talks we will try to bring about an improvement in the situation at Gibraltar. There is no formal agenda.—[Vol. 751, c. 1349–50.]

Mr. Jackson

Would the Foreign Secretary take an early opportunity to remind Madrid that General Franco's remark about Gibraltar being Spanish is incorrect? Second, will he inform us whether or not the attempted interference with British in-flying aircraft is taking place or has ceased?

Mr. Brown

All these matters, particularly the latter part of my hon. Friend's question, will, of course, be discussed in the talks. On the first part, I set out our position very clearly not only in talks with the Spanish Foreign Minister but in my speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations. It is on that basis that we shall be holding the talks.

Mr. Jeger

When my right hon. Friend says that there will be discussions about Gibraltar, will he confirm that the sovereignty of Gibraltar is not negotiable?

Mr. Brown

My hon. Friend will have seen that, in the speech to which I referred at the United Nations and again in Lord Caradon's speech, we have made it quite plain that we could not regard decolonisation as meaning the handing over of a people against their wishes to another Government.

Mr. Tapsell

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an absolutely firm assurance that the Government will not add the betrayal of the people of Gibraltar to the other shames which they have brought upon this country in recent weeks?

Mr. Brown

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman was glad to get that off his chest. From our point of view, the position stays as I made it plain to the U.N. Assembly.