HC Deb 09 March 1972 vol 832 cc392-3W
Q5. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Prime Minister whether he will agree to invite the Prime Minister of Malta to visit Great Britain or seek to arrange a visit to Malta so that he may discuss problems which now confront the two countries.

The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of Malta had talks with my right hon. and noble Friend the Defence Secretary in London on 5th, 6th March. These were attended by the Secretary-General of N.A.T.O. and representatives of the Italian Government. On the afternoon of 6th March I myself had a long discussion with Mr. Mintoff, which my right hon. and noble Friend attended.

In these two days I believe we achieved the basis for a mutually satisfactory agreement on the important questions of our civilian employees in Malta and our Maltese uniformed personnel.

The main remaining issues are essentially financial. Mr. Mintoff maintained his position that he could not accept the N.A.T.A. financial offer.

Her Majesty's Government remain ready to reach agreement if this is the wish of the Maltese Government, and if this can be achieved before our withdrawal is completed.