HC Deb 04 May 1970 vol 801 cc17-8
14. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of the renegotiation of the United States-United Kingdom bases agreement concerning the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Mr. Foley

The agreement is not being renegotiated. The review, for which provision is made in Article XXIV(2) of the Agreement, began with a meeting between British and American representatives in Grand Turk in May, 1967. Since then a system of severance and retirement pay for local employees at the U.S. base has been introduced. Other matters discussed at the meeting last year are still being pursued in correspondence with the United States Government. We hope to reach an early and satisfactory conclusion.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

In view of the fact that there are one or two rather important local issues involved, will the Minister see whether this cannot be expedited. At the same time may I point to the good work carried out by the United States Forces in these islands and, in addition by the British Forces who have been out there this winter?

Mr. Foley

I am grateful for the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's comments. On the first part of his supplementary question, if he has any particular points in mind I would be glad to pursue them