HL Deb 09 April 1986 vol 473 c302WA
Baroness Gardner of Parkes

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands following the burning down of the government office building on 31st December 1985.

The Minister of State for Defence Support (Lord Trefgarne)

On New Year's Eve 1985 certain government offices in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a UK Dependent Territory, were gutted by fire. Arson was suspected and, in the light of preliminary investigations carried out by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, which brought to light evidence suggesting not only arson but a conspiracy to commit this and possibly other serious offences, my right honourable and learned friend has decided, in consultation with the governor of the islands, that it is necessary, in the interests of the good government of the territory, to set up a Commission of Inquiry.

The commission will be headed by Mr. Louis Blom-Cooper QC, and its terms of reference will be:—

  1. (a) to inquire into the alleged arson of government offices on Grand Turk; and into
  2. (b) allegations of corruption in the Public Works Department; and into
  3. (c) any other matters related thereto.

The Commission will aim to submit its report by 1st June.