§ 57. Mr. Fisher
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement about his recent talks with the Prime Minister of Malta.
§ 61. Sir W. Teeling
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with the Prime Minister of Malta concerning the future of the Malta Docks; what is now the position between Her Majesty's Government and Bailey's (Malta) Limited; and for how much longer Bailey's have the legal lease of the dockyard.
§ Mr. Bowden
The purpose of my recent visit to Malta was not primarily to discuss the dockyard. I did, however, have an opportuinty of an exchange of views with the Maltese Prime Minister on this problem and of stressing the need for an urgent solution. Officials accompanying me also had some useful discussions with Maltese officials.231W
As to the present position between Her Majesty's Government and Bailey (Malta) Limited, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply my predecessor gave in this House on 10th February, 1966.
The negotiations between solicitors are still in being, and for this reason it would still not be proper for me to comment.
The lease to Bailey (Malta) Limited was granted for a term of 99 years from 30th March, 1959, and so has just over 91 years to run. This company remains the leasee, but on the independence of Malta on 21st September, 1964, the reversion was transferred from the Admiralty to the Government of Malta.—[Vol. 724, c. 141.]