HC Deb 28 May 1968 vol 765 cc1533-4
Q6. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister whether he will invite the Head of the Guatemalan Government to London for discussions.

The Prime Minister

There are no plans at present for members of the Guatemalan Government to come to London. We are however studying means to end the dispute between our two countries, and if in due course it were to appear that such a visit would be helpful, we would, of course, consider it.

Mr. Wyatt

As the British Government and the British Hondurans have both rejected the proposed American draft treaty, would it not be a good idea to find out, before British Honduras becomes independent, what effective guarantees can be secured against Guatemala invading her?

The Prime Minister

This is one of the important questions arising out of the fact that the British Honduras Government, and we, following them, have rejected a set of proposals which were not acceptable. These matters are best dealt with through diplomatic channels rather than the suggestion of a visit by the Guatemalan Government leaders to this country at this stage.

Sir Ian Orr-Ewing

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he is deploying enough defensive strength in that part of the world to defend British subjects from a Guatemalan attack?

The Prime Minister

This is a question for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. As was made clear in our last defence debate, we are relating the commitments we have, including that part of the world, to the defence forces available. The hon. Gentleman is experienced in these matters and will realise the reason for discretion about the movements of defence forces, and will no doubt be aware of the deployment of defence forces not very far from that area in the last two or three months.

Forward to