HC Deb 21 April 1982 vol 22 cc108-9W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the names of the civil and public servants on the Falkland Islands who signed a letter relating to the situation on the Falkland Islands delivered to his Department at or just before the Easter weekend; what public or Government positions these people held and what are their salaries; and what was the nature of this letter and his reply.

Mr. Pym

The letter was signed by 18 officials, including both ex-patriates and islanders. Their names and positions are as followsMr. R. Browning (Assistant Secretary, Secretariat); Mr. R. Buckett (Mechanical Superindent); Mr. A. Carey (Supplies Officer); Mrs. A. Chater (Supervisor of Camp Education); Mr. R. H. Checkley (Registrar of Supreme Court); Mr. G. Cheek (Director of Civil Aviation); Mr. J. A. Fowler (Superintendent of Education); Mr. R. Gilbert (Electrician); Dr. D. H. Haines (Senior Medical Officer); Mr. L. Halliday (Harbourmaster); Mr. R. G. W. Lamb (Chief Police Officer); Mr. W. H. Roberts (Communications Officer); Mr. H. T. Rowlands (Financial Secretary); Mr. D. J. Sollis (Master of MV "Forrest"); Mr. J. Stephenson (Meteorological Officer); Mr. P. G. Summer (Deputy Chief Secretary); Mr. D. J. Turner (Building Superintendent); Mr. P. Watts (Broadcasting Officer).

I regret that details of their salaries cannot be obtained in the time available.

The text of the letter requested that a protecting power be appointed to help to arrange the temporary evacuation of the civilian population of the Falkland Islands under the terms of the Geneva Convention. It also requested the immediate despatch to Port Stanley of an observer from that power.

I do not propose to reply formally to the letter until I have received it. However, I have already made it clear in the House that we would of course be ready to consider sympathetically assistance to Islanders who express their wish to be evacuated from what could become a combat zone.

Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what area of sea around the Falkland Islands is protected for fishing purposes; and what agreements have been made to permit vessels of other nations to fish in these waters.

Mr. Onslow

The Falkland Islands have a 3-mile territorial sea over which they haveinter alia fishing jurisdiction. Other nations at present fish outside the 3-mile limit which are high seas; and there are thus no restrictions on fishing.

Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the potential for oil development in the territorial waters of the Falkland Islands; if there have been any indications of mineral deposits on the islands themselves; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Onslow

Available information on the hydrocarbons potential of the Falkland Islands is sparse and based on broad grid seismic surveys. While the detailed conclusions of these surveys are commercially confidential, there are areas around the Falkland Islands which appear to contain sedimentary layers of a sufficient thickness and appropriate structure both to generate and contain hydrocarbons, though this has not been confirmed by drilling.

The Falkland Islands themselves are believed to contain no hydrocarbons and surveys have shown no metalliferous minerals of economic value.

Forward to