asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what representations have been made to the Governments of Pakistan and India for the release of ships and cargoes detained by them, in which there is a substantial British financial interest.
A substantial amount of cargo, six ocean-going ships and a number of river vessels have been detained at Pakistan and Indian ports. This property is to a large extent insured or reinsured in this country. A good deal of the cargo is also British-owned. The British Government have made clear to the Governments of both Pakistan and India their view on the desirability of the early release of these ships and cargoes. They have noted with satisfaction the offer of the Government of India to agree on a reciprocal basis to such releases and the termination of contraband control. The response of the Government of Pakistan to this offer is awaited.