HC Deb 23 June 1977 vol 933 cc551-2W
Sir Bernard Braine

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the light of the forthcoming constitutional talks on the Gilbert Islands and the Banaban plea for the separation of Ocean Island, why the British Virgin Islands, although forming part of the Leeward Islands in 1672, did not join the Federation of the West Indies when it was established in 1958 when all other islands forming the Leeward Islands colony were included in the Federation.

Mr. Luard

When the Leeward Islands Colony, created in 1872, was brought to an end in 1956 under the Leeward Islands (Miscellaneous Provisions) Order 1956 made under the Leeward Islands Act 1956, the British Virgin Islands and the three other members of the federation each became separate colonies. The British Virgin Islands subsequently decided that they did not wish to join the West Indies Federation.