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Falkland Islands (Visit)

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on her visit to the Falklands.

I visited the Falkland Islands from 8–12 January. My main purpose was to meet as many as possible of the people on the Islands, to see at first hand the programmes of rehabilitation and development and to visit Her Majesty's Armed Forces.I held a meeting with members of the Executive and Legislative Councils. In Port Stanley I visited the Public Works Department, a new housing project, the power station, the senior and junior schools and the civil and military wings of the hospital. Outside Port Stanley I visited settlements at Fitzroy, Goose Green, Port San Carlos, San Carlos, Port Howard and Fox Bay East. On 10 January I was honoured to receive the Freedom of the Falkland Islands.My programme with Her Majesty's Armed Forces included visits to the RAF at Port Stanley airfield, engineer, artillery and infantry Units, HMS "Antrim" and other ships of the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Marine.I laid wreaths to the memories of those who lost their lives in the conflict which followed the Argentine invasion.The people of the Falkland Islands made clear to me their deep gratitude for the liberation of the Islands by Her Majesty's Armed Forces. The continuing role of our Service men in the defence and reconstruction of the Islands is most impressive. I paid tribute to the determination, courage and skill which they continue to display, often in very difficult circumstances.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will arrange to attend personally the February celebrations in the Falkland Islands in order to represent Her Majesty's Government.

No. As the hon. Member will know, I have just returned from a visit to the Falkland Islands.