Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Mr Anthony J P Lombard, Gibraltar

  I understand you propose to travel to Gibraltar in July, in connection with your investigation into Gibraltar and write to appraise you of my utter disgust at the present British Administration's monumental and abysmal betrayal of the loyal and long suffering people of Gibraltar, a sentiment which is universal in Gibraltar.

  The injury is compounded by insult, given the Administration's avowed inflexibility in respect of the military base, as opposed to the whole of Gibraltar and its people. In the circumstances, it appears the latter count for nothing and may be battered as pawns upon a chess board, as if we were still living in the despotic era of the 18th century! As a result, only one phrase comes to mind: "Perfidious Albion", first mentioned, as you know, by Louis XIV of France, when the then British Government reneged upon an international treaty.

  It is often said Gibraltarians have not been Spanish for 300 years. That is not so, we have never been Spanish. Whilst Gibraltar may have once been Spanish, the post 1704 Gibraltarians have never been so and since then we have lived and prospered upon this barren Rock of ours, under the protection of the British Crown, for far longer than the mighty United States of North America has been a nation. Accordingly, this is our homeland and it is neither the United Kingdom's to give away, nor Spain's to claim.

  Lastly, with regard to my own descent and by way of example, you may be interested to learn my maternal ancestors arrived in Gibraltar in 1725, from Tetuan where they had settled in 1560, following their cruel exile from Spain, at the time of the Jewish expulsion in 1490, notwithstanding they were courtiers of the Kings of Castille and Leon and one of their ancestors had been Chancellor of the Exchequer to Sancho the Great, circa 1280. My paternal ancestors fled the French Revolution and eventually settled in Gibraltar. Most of my ancestors married Italians or their issue and for good measure my paternal grandmother was a Carroll, descended from an Irish soldier, who settled in Gibraltar in the middle of the 19th Century!

Anthony J P Lombard


May 2002

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 7 November 2002