HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 c197W
27. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference.

Mr. Ennals

The general debate in plenary, which concluded on 15th July, revealed a wide measure of support for a 12-mile territorial sea. There was also considerable support for a 200-mile economic zone, although there are important differences about the rules to apply within such a zone.

Substantive negotiations have now begun in each of the committees of the conference established to deal with particular questions.

On 3rd July the British delegation tabled a set of draft articles on the territorial sea and straits which has had a generally favourable initial reception.

It is difficult to forecast the extent of agreements likely to have been reached by the date set for the conclusion of the conference.