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Frontier Restrictions

Volume 720: debated on Thursday 18 November 1965

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7.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action Her Majesty's Government propose to take to assist Gibraltar in her difficulties arising from the Spanish frontier restrictions.

Our aim is to increase the self-sufficiency of Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar Government expects shortly to receive the report of the Development Study Group. Meanwhile action has been taken to ensure maximum co-operation by Departments of the United Kingdom Government which are concerned with Gibraltar.

As the Gibraltar restrictions, really through no fault of the Colony, have now been in operation for over a year, could the hon. Lady tell us whether the Government—after all, she is a Minister and I hope that she will not always ride out on the Foreign Office—have plans for conversations with the Spanish Government, or any other political proposals as opposed to economic, in order to be able to carry out the promises which they made in a White Paper issued last April, to defend and sustain the people of Gibraltar?

I do not wish to ride off any Questions, but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman, who has himself been a Minister, will recognise that one does not cross departmental lines in these matters. As I replied to his hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall), there have been suggestions in Gibraltar for some constitutional changes, but it is the view of both the elected members of Gibraltar and of Her Majesty's Government that for the time being a change in the Constitution would not help matters.