§ Dame Irene Ward
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the official communication received from the Norwegian Government that Norway was planning to extend her fishing limits from 5 to 12 miles; and what action he proposes to take.
§ Mr. Ormsby Gore
No official communication has been received from the Norwegian Government. Her Majesty's Government's comments on the statement made by the Norwegian Foreign Minister on 13th May were contained in the following Press statement which was issued on 13th May:
"Her Majesty's Government have noted the reported statement by the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs that the Norwegian Government will now make the necessary preparations with the object of extending their fishing limits to twelve miles. Her Majesty's Government share the disappointment expressed by the Norwegian Government at the failure of the Second Law of the Sea Conference at Geneva and have recently approached them on the resulting problems. Her Majesty's Government have already stated that in the absence of an international agreement they maintain their former position on fishery limits. They, would, therefore, profoundly regret any action by the Norwegian Government to extend their fishery jurisdiction before it has been possible for discussions to take place. They note that the Norwegian Government, recognising the serious difficulties which such a step would have for fishermen of foreign countries fishing off Norwegian shores, are willing to begin talks with the foreign countries concerned."139W
We are continuing to keep in close touch with the Norwegian Government.
I am arranging for copies of a summary of the Norwegian Foreign Minister's statement to be placed in the Library.