Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Letter to Richard Cooke, Head of Parliamentary Relations Team, Foreign and Commonwealth Office from the Second Clerk of the Committee


  The Committee has asked me to write to you to request further information relevant to the Overseas Territories inquiry.


  The Committee would like a list of the official appointments in each Overseas Territory made by the British Government and the person or bodies responsible for making them. It would also like details of the terms and conditions of each of these appointments, including the length of the appointments and the procedures for terminating them; and information about how each of these appointments are made, including whether they are subject to open competition and, if so, how they are advertised.


  Following its evidence session with the Chagos Refugees Group on 23 January, the Committee would also like to request more information about the UK's agreement with the US on Diego Garcia. The Committee notes that:

    "There is no lease of Diego Garcia or any other part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) to the United States, and they make no payment in respect of their presence there. Under the initial agreement of December 1966 between the UK and the US on the use of BIOT, the whole territory is to remain available for the defence needs of the two countries for an initial period of 50 years from 1966, and thereafter for a further period of 20 years unless either party has given prior notice to terminate it. A further agreement concluded in 1976, which has been supplemented by various other agreements, regulates the establishment and functioning of a United States Defence Facility in Diego Garcia and related matters".[251]

  The Committee would be grateful if you could confirm that: (i) the use of Diego Garcia by the US will automatically continue beyond 2016 unless either the UK or US gives notice that they no longer want this arrangement to continue and (ii) that it would be sufficient for the agreement to expire if only the UK were to give notice that it wished to terminate it. The Committee would also like information on the form in which this notice would have to be given.

  I would be most grateful to have your response by Friday 29 February.

25 January 2008

251   HC Deb, 17 November 2004, col 1560W. Back

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