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Ascension Island

Volume 33: debated on Tuesday 30 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will detail the provisions of the lease under which the United States enjoys facilities in the British possession of Ascension Island; and what are (a) the duration of their tenure, (b)the consideration for which this tenure is granted, (c) the term, in months or years, over which the concession may be employed before renewal and (d) any exclusions regarding access and use by Service or civilian personnel, or private citizens, which have been conceded by Her Majesty's Government under the lease.

The provisions of the lease under which the United States enjoys facilities on Ascension Island are contained in the agreement of 25 June 1956 (Cmnd. 9810) and other related exchanges of Notes, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.The answers to my hon. Friend's questions are as follows:

  • (a) The original agreement remained in force until 20 July 1975 and has continued on a year to year basis.
  • (b) The sites are provided free from all rents and charges to the Government of the United States of America under article XXIII of the agreement.
  • (c) The agreement continues on a year to year basis.
  • (d) British Service personnel have free access to the sites. Access by unauthorised civilians and private citizens is restricted under article IV(2) of the 1956 agreement.