HC Deb 28 June 1978 vol 952 cc1381-2
11. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to visit Malaysia.

Mr. Luard

My right hon. Friend has no present plans to do so.

Mr. McCrindle

What is the latest position in the negotiations with Malaysia with regard to overflying rights for Concorde en route to Singapore? Can the Minister confirm that these are not being held up by an attempt on the part of Malaysia to trade off these overflying rights against matters that have nothing to do with aviation?

Mr. Luard

I agree with the hon. Gentleman. The position of Her Majesty's Government is that there is no connection between the discussions that have been taking place about Concorde and the other talks about air services arrangements, which are taking place in a different context. I entirely agree that there is no reason why these two things should be related.

As the hon. Gentleman probably knows, the difficulty about Concorde is that the Malaysian Government are seeking to object to supersonic overflights close to their territory. It is not proposed, and never has been, that Concorde should fly over Malaysia. We are talking about territorial waters off the Malaysian coast. Concorde will fly no closer to Malaysia than it already does to many other countries.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Will the Foreign Secretary take up with the Malaysian Government the position of the 110.000 citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies who live in Malaysia and the possibility of giving them Malaysian citizenship? That would certainly be of considerable importance in adjusting our own citizenship.

Mr. Luard

I agree with my hon. Friend that that action would certainly help us in relation to our own nationality and citizenship laws. We have no immediate plans to discuss the matter with the Malaysian Government.