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Shackleton Report (Implementation)

Volume 15: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1981

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asked the Lord Privy Seal to what extent the Shackleton report proposals for the Falkland Islands have been implemented by Her Majesty's Government.

Her Majesty's Government gave the recommendations of the Shaldeton report very careful consideration after its publication in 1976. Since then, very many of the recommendations have been accepted and have been implemented or are in hand, whilst others have been rejected.

Is it not deplorable that many of the key recommendations relating to the development of the fishing and mineral rights have had no response whatsoever from successsive British Governments? In view of the early-day motion that appeared on the Order Paper this morning, signed by 66 hon. Members, will my right hon. Friend take steps to bring an end to any further discussions with the Argentine Government about the future of the Falkland Islands and launch a new era of co-operation between Her Majesty's Government and the Falkland islanders?

As I said earlier, very many of the recommendations that relate to the development of the Falkland Islands have already been fulfilled. On the specific point about fishing, if my hon Friend is talking about fishing inshore, there is some possibility that the Falkland Islands Government may be involved in a survey on this matter, but the investigations that have been done indicate that the fishing industry here believes that there is very little market for exploitation at present.

With regard to the talks with the Argentine Government, it was proposed that talks should be held tomorrow in Geneva between the Argentine Government and the British Government and in company with two Falkland Islands councillors. At the request of the Argentine Government these have been postponed in view of the change of Government in Argentina this week. We await their request for further talks. It is up to them to put their proposals to us.