HC Deb 05 November 1959 vol 612 cc68-9W
58. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations what protests have been made by the Maldivian Government against the violation of the treaty by the United Kingdom authorities in Gan; what was the nature of the reply; and if he will make a statement on this country's relationship with the Maldivian Government, the construction of the staging post, the resettlement of displaced persons and the payment of compensation for the land occupied.

Mr. P. Williams

asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will make a statement on the state of negotiations with the Government of the Maldives.

Mr. Alport

Allegations of the violation of the Protection Agreement at Gan have been made in letters delivered to the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Colombo by the Maldivian Government's representative there. These allegations were unfounded and have therefore been rejected.

In April the United Kingdom Government invited a Maldivian delegation to be its guests in London in order to continue talks on outstanding matters. This invitation was renewed on 11th August in a message from my noble Friend to the Maldivian Prime Minister.

The United Kingdom Government have also offered their good offices to help bring about a peaceful restoration of the Maldivian Government's authority in Addu Atoll.

Work on the air staging post, including necessary resettlement, is expected to be completed by early next year. The question of additional compensation awaits the further negotiations to which we hope the Maldivian Government will agree in due course.