HC Deb 03 June 1959 vol 606 cc26-7W
45. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the recent shooting incidents and the possible damage to craft and infliction of human death or injury, he will make a further approach to the Icelandic Government to achieve at least a temporary settlement of the dispute, and also endeavour to bring forward the date of the next World Conference on the Law of the Sea.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I have nothing to add to the Answer I gave to the hon. Member for Bristol, Central (Mr. Awbery) on 11th May.

48. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply has been received from the Icelandic Government to Her Majesty's Government's protest about the shelling of the Hull trawler "Arctic Viking".

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The Icelandic Government's reply of 14th May, which was published on that day, stated that the trawler "Arctic Viking" was found illegally fishing within Icelandic fishery limits (by that they mean the twelve-mile limit, which Her Majesty's Government do not recognise). The reply further stated that when the trawler tried to escape arrest the Icelandic coastguard vessel "Thor" fired eight warning shots, three of which were unexplosive projectiles, and that these three shots were fired from a range of 100 metres and aimed at between 30 and 50 metres ahead of the trawler.

The reply reaffirmed the Icelandic Government's view that their fishery regulations of 30th June, 1958, and the actions taken to enforce them, are in accordance with international law and requested the withdrawal of British warships. As the House is aware, Her Majesty's Government do not agree that the Icelandic twelve-mile fishery limit is valid in international law and see no justification for the request that Her Majesty's ships should cease to protect British vessels lawfully fishing on the high seas.

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