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Falkland Islands

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 24 November 1982

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19.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which files relating to the Falkland Islands deposited in the Public Record Office are closed for 75 years and for 100 years; and why.

As I explained to the hon. Member in my letter to him of 6 July, to list files withheld from public inspection would be disproportionately expensive. The reasons for withholding these records, as approved by the Lord Chancellor, can be found in paragraphs 26 and 27 of the White Paper "Modern Public Records" (Cmnd. 8531).

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent oil and fish resources in the waters of the Falkland Islands are to be developed.

These matters, like others which feature in Lord Shackleton's recently updated economic report, are under active consideration. The Government hope to be in a position to announce initial decisions shortly. It should be noted, however, that the existence of oil resources in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands has yet to be proven.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government will make it its policy not to negotiate or discuss any settlement of the Falkland Islands dispute until the military dictatorship of Argentina has relinquished power to a democratically elected civilian form of government, based upon a democratic system.

We naturally welcome the promise of more representative Government in Argentina. But a fundamental change of attitude is needed on the part of any Argentine Government before we could consider discussing the Falkland Island dispute with Argentina.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications have been received since the islands were liberated for licences to fish the waters of the Falkland Islands and the dependencies; and what action has been taken on each.

No formal applications for licensing have been received, but we are in discussion with a number of companies, British and foreign, which are interested in both inshore and offshore fishing.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications have been received for oil drilling licences in waters of the Falkland Islands and the dependencies since the islands were liberated; and what action has been taken on each.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications have been received for settlement in the Falkland Islands since the islands were liberated; and what action has been taken on each.

Approximately 2,000 letters have been received inquiring about settlement opportunities. Applicants have been asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire, of which 250 have so far been returned. These are being processed in consultation with the Falkland Islands Government.