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Sealing Industry, Falkland Islands

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the Governor of the Falkland Islands has granted licences for sealing in Falkland Island waters; and what is the state of this industry.

A licence to take seals has been granted in the Falkland Islands to the South Atlantic Sealing Company, Ltd., a subsidiary of the Colonial Development Corporation, and in South Georgia to the Compania Argentina de Pesca. Operations by the former company have been temporarily suspended owing to a dispute about the validity of the licence granted to them, but I understand that a settlement of the dispute is now in sight. In South Georgia results have been satisfactory.

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the need for building up a wide range of industries in the Falkland Islands, and is he satisfied with the progress that has been made?

No, I am not at all satisfied with the progress that has been made. It has been interrupted by a dispute which, I hope, is going to be settled.