HC Deb 09 April 1959 vol 603 cc39-40W
57. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent international disputes about territorial fishing limits affecting Great Britain and the British fishing industry, indicating what items in dispute have been resolved, and what items are still outstanding; and what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to resolve the outstanding items in a reasonable and peaceful way without the use of force.

Mr. Profumo

The only dispute about fishing limits affecting the United Kingdom is that with Iceland. Her Majesty's Government have repeatedly made clear their readiness to reach an interim arrangement regulating fishing around Iceland pending the outcome of the Second World Conference on the Law of the Sea. They have suggested that the present dispute should be referred to the International Court, in which case the Court could be asked to indicate interim measures to be taken by the parties pending its final decision. Her Majesty's Government have also consistently indicated their willingness to enter into direct negotiations with Iceland for the purpose of reaching a satisfactory interim arrangement. The Government of Iceland have not accepted any of the proposals which have been made.