HC Deb 27 October 1960 vol 627 cc322-3W
Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement about the establishment of the Caribbean Organisation to replace the Caribbean Commission.

Mr. Heath

The Agreement for the establishment of the Caribbean Organisation was signed in Washington on 21st June, 1960, and the text laid before Parliament on 15th September. The new Organisation, which will have broadly the same objectives as the Caribbean Commission, will reflect the significant constitutional and economic changes which have taken place in the area since the Caribbean Commission was established by agreement between the United Kingdom, the United States, France and the Netherlands in 1946. Thus the members will be the Governments of the Caribbean territories themselves, the metropolitan Powers—except for France whose Caribbean territories are Departments of Metropolitan France—withdrawing to the position of observers. The Organisation will have its headquarters in Puerto Rico.

The Agreement will enter into force on signature of a joint declaration to that effect by the signatory Governments, following the deposit of their instruments of approval or acceptance, and after not less than six prospective members have given notification that they accept the obligations imposed by the Statute of the Caribbean Organisation and elect to become members. Such notification has now been received from the Governments of the United States' Virgin Islands, The Netherlands Antilles, Surinam, British Guiana and Puerto Rico.