HC Deb 28 February 1973 vol 851 cc1485-6
15. Mr. Marten

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on future proposals for Anguilla.

Lord Balniel

I have nothing to add to my reply to my hon. Friend on 11th December.—[Vol. 849, c. 6.]

Mr. Marten

I feared that that might be the reply. Does my hon. Friend not agree that the Anguillans have now amply demonstrated their ability to maintain law and order and political stability in that island, and that no purpose is served in going on with the present situation? Could steps not be taken to bring Anguilla a new constitution more in line with the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat? Can my hon. Friend assure me that he will go out there and discuss the proposed new constitution with Mr. Webster?

Lord Balniel

It would certainly be enjoyable and interesting, and I hope that an opportunity to go out there will present itself some day. My hon. Friend is right; law and order are being maintained there. But he will recollect that on the Second Reading of the Anguilla Bill the then Minister of State promised a review of the island's status in 1974, taking into account the views of the Anguillans. We have recently written to Mr. Webster, the leader of the Anguilla Council, urging him, in the interests of all parties, to adhere to the timetable which was then set.