HC Deb 17 June 1982 vol 25 cc320-2W
Sir John Langford-Holt

Q.41 asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement about the issue of a campaign medal for those who were engaged in the Falkland Islands operations.

The Prime Minister

I hope to be able to make a recommendation to Her Majesty the Queen shortly, and I shall make a statement thereafter.

Mr. Latham

Q.18 asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a further statement on the Falkland Islands.

The Prime Minister

I am arranging to circulate in theOfficial Report the text of the surrender document signed in Port Stanley.

We are continuing to press the Argentine Government to confirm that they regard hostilities in the South Atlantic as at an end. We have asked other Governments to urge the Argentines to give this confirmation. But the Argentine Government have not yet done so.

The Argentine troops who surrendered on the Falkland Islands are already in a poor state. They were suffering from disease and exposure. Caring for these prisoners is a formidable task, which our forces are undertaking as best they can in the very difficult conditions prevailing. We are urging the Argentine Government to agree arrangements that will permit their early repatriation. We are most concerned that so far Argentina has rejected direct repatriation to its ports and has shown no readiness to cooperate over arrangements for the speedy return of its own people.

Following is the document:




I, the undersigned, Commander of all the Argentine land, sea and air forces in the Falkland Islands (SIGNATURE OF MENENDEZ) surrender to Major General J. J. MOORE, CB, OBE, MC as representative of Her Brittanic Majesty's Government.

Under the terms of this surrender all Argentinian personnel in the Falkland Islands are to muster at assembly points which will be nominated by General Moore and hand over their arms, ammunition, and all other weapons and warlike equipment as directed by General Moore or appropriate British officers acting on his behalf.

Following the surrender all personnel of the Argentinian Forces will be treated with honour in accordance with the conditions set out in the Geneva Convention of 1949. They will obey any directions concerning movement and in connection with accommodation.

This surrender is to be effective from 2359 hours ZULU on 14 June (2059 hours local) and includes those Argentine Forces presently deployed in and around Port Stanley, those others on East Falkland, West Falkland and all the outlying islands.

(Signatures) J. J. MOORE, Major General
HOURS 14 June 1982

Mr. Skeet

asked the Prime Minister whether the document of surrender negotiated between General Moore and General Menendez will in final form be signed by members of the Argentine junta to prevent repudiation of its terms at a later date.

The Prime Minister

A distinction must be drawn between the surrender of forces in the field and the cessation of hostilities generally. The surrender of Brigadier-General Menendez to Major General Moore related to the Argentine forces deployed on East Falkland, West Falkland and their outlying islands. There is no question of its repudiation; these Argentine forces are now being taken prisoner. As to the cessation of hostilities generally, I told the House on Tuesday that we have sent to the Argentine Government, through the Swiss Government, a message seeking confirmation that Argentina, like the United Kingdom, considered all hostilities in the South Atlantic-and not only on the islands themselves-to be at an end. We do not yet have a reply.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Prime Minister whether she will review her statement of 29 April, Official Report, c. 984, requesting the International Court of Justice under article 96 of the United Nations Charter to give an advisory opinion on legal issues involved in the Falklands crisis.

The Prime Minister

I explained on 29 April why I did not think it was appropriate to make this request to the International Court of Justice. I stand by what I said on that occasion.

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