International Law of the Sea Conference

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1972.

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Photo of Mr Laurance Reed Mr Laurance Reed , Bolton East 12:00 am, 30th November 1972

asked the Minister of State for Defence what part the Royal Navy is playing in preparation for the International Law of the Sea Conference.

Photo of Mr Antony Buck Mr Antony Buck , Colchester

The Ministry of Defence is playing a full part in preparations for the International Law of the Sea Conference to take account of Royal Navy and other defence interests, and to give appropriate technical assistance.

Photo of Mr Laurance Reed Mr Laurance Reed , Bolton East

Will my hon. Friend bear especially in mind the strategic implications of any extension of territorial waters or rules relating to the control of narrow straits and inlets, and also the fact that if any conflict arises as a result of failure to reach legal agreement it is the Royal Navy that will have to cope with it?

Photo of Mr Antony Buck Mr Antony Buck , Colchester

I shall bear those matters in mind. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the fact that in the background material here there is a most useful memorandum about these matters composed by him. It is a very useful document.