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Volume 33: debated on Monday 6 December 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what considerations led him to send a team of officials to Mauritius in March to discuss compensation to the Ilois people;(2) why, in March, he sought to expedite the resolution of the problem relating to the Ilois people and Diego Garcia.

Following the adjournment of talks with an all-party delegation from Mauritius, which took place in London in June 1981, we proposed in February this year that a further effort be made to provide a lasting settlement for the Ilois community. This proposal resulted in talks which took place in Port Louis from 22-27 March and the outcome of which was reported to the House on 1 April by my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreham (Mr. Luce) the then Minister of State.The Government's approach was based solely on the need to find, as soon as practicable, a solution of this longstanding humanitarian problem that was acceptable to the Ilois and to the Government of Mauritius.