Anguilla

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 1970.

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Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury 12:00 am, 2nd February 1970

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the situation in Anguilla.

Photo of Mr Stanley Henig Mr Stanley Henig , Lancaster

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about constitutional progress in Anguilla.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Surbiton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to receive the report of the Commission under the chairmanship of Sir Hugh Wooding upon the future of Anguilla.

Photo of Mr Maurice Foley Mr Maurice Foley , West Bromwich

So far as the internal situation in Anguilla is concerned, I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) on 13th October.

As regards the future, the Commission under the chairmanship of Sir Hugh Wooding which has been appointed to study the Anguilla problem is due to hold its first meetings today. It is not yet possible to say when we shall receive its report.—[Vol. 788, c. 16–17.]

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

But as public safety and good order have now existed for nine months in Anguilla without incident, can the Minister say why the Government insist on keeping about 80 British policemen in Anguilla, particularly as the Government have pledged that the Anguillans will not be under a régime which they do not want, so that, therefore, there is no question of their going back to St. Kitts?

Photo of Mr Maurice Foley Mr Maurice Foley , West Bromwich

There is at this moment no hostility against the police being there, and, in our judgment, it is desirable that they should be there.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Surbiton

Would the hon. Gentleman accept that many of us who know the West Indies welcome the Wooding Commission and feel that it will tend to associate the whole of the Caribbean in this problem without its appearing that Britain is taking too paternalistic an attitude towards West Indian affairs, and will he keep us in touch from time to time with the progress of the Commission?

Photo of Viscount  Lambton Viscount Lambton , Berwick-upon-Tweed

Will the Minister give a reassurance that Anguilla will not be returned to the domination of St. Kitts without consultation with the electorate of Anguilla?

Photo of Mr Maurice Foley Mr Maurice Foley , West Bromwich

I am quite willing to give the assurance which has been given on a number of occasions: it is no part of our policy that the Anguillans should be under a régime of which they did not approve.