HC Deb 01 February 1965 vol 705 cc210-1W
66. Mr. George Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has received from the Spanish Government to his protests against the delays and obstructions at the Gibraltar frontier; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. M. Stewart

As the House will be aware, representations about the restrictions on transit of the Gibraltar frontier were made to the Spanish Government on a number of occasions in November and December. These failed to secure the lifting of the retrictions.

Her Majesty's Ambassador at Madrid, acting on instructions therefore handed to the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs on 11th January a Note formally protesting against the restrictions and requesting the Spanish Government to lift them forthwith.

A Spanish reply to this Note, received on 18th January, merely reiterated an earlier request to Her Majesty's Government to enter into conversations about Gibraltar, following the consensus adopted by the United Nations Committee of 24 on 16th October, 1964. Her Majesty's Ambassador accordingly delivered a further Note to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 22nd January, reaffirming the statement made in our Note of 11th January that Her Majesty's Government will not entertain any proposals for conversations with regard to Gibraltar so long as the present abnormal situation on the Spanish frontier with Gibraltar continues. We have made it clear to the Spanish Government that we cannot in any case regard the question of sovereignty as a matter for negotiation. Her Majesty's Government have also made their position clear in the United Nations.

As my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary told the House on 26th November, Her Majesty's Government are fully aware of their obligations to protect the welfare of Gibraltar and the legitimate interests of its people. We shall take all necessary measures to that end.

67. Mr. George Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will initiate discussions with the Spanish Government on the effect on their tourist industry caused by the restrictions at Gibraltar.

Mr. Padley