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Us Occupied Islands (British Interests)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 12 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what preferential conditions were asked for by the U.S.A. and granted by U.N.O., to Americans in the islands which have been added to the U.S. empire as a result of the war; and in what way these conditions affect the commercial relationship between these islands and the rest of the world, particularly the countries of the British Empire.

I presume that the hon. Member is referring to the Strategic Area Trusteeship Agreement for the former Japanese mandated islands, that is the Marshall, Caroline and the Mariana Islands, naming the United States of America as administering authority, which was approved by the Security Council on 2nd April, 1947, and that he has Article 8 (1) of that Agreement in mind. His Majesty's Government do not consider that the conditions of that Article will have any appreciable effect on commercial relationships between the former Japanese mandated islands and other countries, in particular the United Kingdom.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that there will be equal opportunities for British subjects in these islands?

I am satisfied that any apparent discrimination is due exclusively to security considerations, and that there will be no commercial discrimination of any kind.

I prefer to say that no facilities will be denied to British merchants which are accorded to other nationalities.