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Falkland Islands

Volume 928: debated on Wednesday 23 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Minister of State received at Goose Green in the Falkland Islands; and what reply he made to allay popular misgivings arising from discussion of Her Majesty's sovereignty with Argentina.

During the public discussions I held with the Falkland Islanders at Goose Green, the local branch of the Falkland Island Committee read out an eight-point statement, prepared before my arrival, which expressed concern over discussion of the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute with Argentina. I assured those present that, contrary to the suggestion in the statement, I had not discussed sovereignty with the Argentine Government en route to the islands. I explained why the Government thought it right to establish whether Anglo-Argentine negotiations might be held and how United Kingdom sovereignty over the islands and the position of the islanders would be fully protected. Those present at the Goose Green meeting indicated their satisfaction with these explanations and with the Government's intention to see whether a climate for Anglo-Argentine negotiations existed.