§ 57. Mr. Atkins
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is his policy towards the recent claim by Venezuela to 45,000 square miles of British Guiana territory; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Tilney
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has made to the Venezuela Government about the recent demonstrations outside the British Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, in support of that country's claim to 45,000 square miles of British Guiana territory; and if he will make a statement.204W
§ Mr. Padley
On 24th July a group of about 40 students demonstrated outside Her Majesty's Ambassador's house and the house of the Chargé d'Affaires shouting slogans and scattering leaflets. The demonstrations were orderly and no damage was done. Her Majesty's Ambassador has reminded the Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs of his Government's responsibility for the protection of diplomatic premises.
The frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana was settled by an Arbitration Tribunal in 1899, in accordance with the terms of a Treaty signed in 1897 between the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Under Article XIII of this Treaty, both sides undertook to accept the Tribunal's Award as a "full, perfect and final settlement".
The Venezuelan Government allege that the 1899 Award is invalid and in May, 1962, they informed Her Majesty's Government of their intention to claim part of British Guiana. When the question was raised at the United Nations later that year, the United Kingdom representative, while insisting that the matter was res judicata, offered to arrange for an examination of documentary material relating to the Award in order to satisfy the Venezuelans that they had not been the victims of injustice. This examination of documents has now been completed and the results are to be reviewed by the Governments. It remains the position of Her Majesty's Government that the whole question was settled once and for all by the Arbitration Tribunal in 1899. This is also the position of the Government of British Guiana.