Is the right hon. Lady aware that this means that aid has now been suspended to Malta for more than a year? Is this not unparalleled action to take against a friendly Commonwealth country? Is it not beginning to lead to interference in the internal affairs of Malta?
I hardly think so. In fact, the development of Malta has not been held up, because it has been financed by short-term borrowing. We hope that we can reach agreement with the Malta Government. We believe that we have made every reasonable endeavour to do so, and I shall make a statement as soon as I can.
Is this not a great reflection on the competence of Her Majesty's Government? I have been engaged in such negotiations and they have never taken a year to complete on a matter of relatively minor financial importance to the United Kingdom. If the right hon. Lady cannot give the whole of what Malta wants, would she direct her mind to a compromise solution to complete this matter quickly?
Any fair-minded person would be bound to recognise that we have made the maximum effort over a period to reach agreement with Malta. We have not yet succeeded in doing so. We shall go on trying. Until we do, it is best that I do not go into great detail about the whole matter.