HC Deb 11 December 1972 vol 848 cc18-9
14. Mr. Luce

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the latest round of discussions between Great Britain, the Argentine and the Falkland Islands in Port Stanley.

Mr. Amery

Talks about communications between the Falkland Islands and Argentina were held in a friendly and constructive atmosphere in Port Stanley from 21st to 24th November. The British delegation included participants from the Falklands. Practical arrangements were made to ensure the smooth operation of the air service, mails and other communications.

Mr. Luce

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer. Does he accept that the communications agreement between Britain, the Argentine and the Falkland Islands opens up new opportunities for the islanders in terms of medical facilities, educational facilities and increased trade, and will he reaffirm, for the sake of the islanders, that there will be no change in their sovereignty without their full consent?

Mr. Amery

I agree with both parts of my hon. Friend's question. We believe that the arrangements made will be a help to the islanders. At the same time, I wish to make clear that there was no discussion of any change of sovereignty. Her Majesty's Government's policy remains that there can be no transfer of sovereignty against the wishes of the islanders.

Mr. Wellbeloved

Why do not the Government extend the same courtesy to the British people and allow them to decide, in respect of the Common Market, whether they wish to have any transfer of sovereignty?

Mr. Amery

First, there is no transfer of sovereignty involved. Secondly, the two parties made their position about the Common Market quite clear at the last General Election.