Annex 1 (e)
Letter from Hon Peter Caruana QC, Chief
Minister, Gibraltar, to Mr David Reddaway CMG MBE, Foreign and
Commonwealth Office, 29 October 1997
During our conversation over dinner at the Convent,
on the occasion of Mr Henderson's recent visit to Gibraltar, we
discussed the Gibraltar Government's position in relation to participation
at talks with Spain under the Brussels Agreement. I explained
to you that there were two separate aspects to this issue, namely
(1) restoring the record to reflect certain
confirmations that I had received from FCO in a letter dated 29
April 1993 signed by the then Minister Tristan Garel Jones which
record had been recently distorted; and
(2) the nature and status of GOG's participation
given our views and manifesto commitments in that respect, ie
the "Own Voice and Representation" issue.
Given that the 10 December has now been fixed
as the date for such talks we agreed that it would be helpful
if I wrote to you setting out our position.
In relation to point (1) above I can do no better
than enclose herewith a further copy, for your ease of reference,
of the entire correspondence relating to the matter, both before
and after the letter of 29 April 1993. The issue is crucial because
my party's policy of willingness to participate in talks under
the Brussels Agreement at all is based and continues to be based,
on the assurances contained in the letter of 29 April 1993. Therefore,
unless the record is restored to the position as reflected in
that letter, the question of terms of participation, ie the Own
Voice and Representation issue does not even arise for consideration.
In relation to the "Own Voice and Representation"
issue. I enclose a copy of the page in my Government's manifesto
so that you will see what are the operative constraints and parameters.
I am willing to be constructive in the search for formulae. To
this end I have suggested, and continue to be willing to accept,
a formula that places us much in the same position as if we had
our own separate representation but without requiring a formal
trilateral structure or a ritualistic acceptance by the Spaniards
which will not be forthcoming. This is achieved by the "internal
arrangements" that apply to a single British delegation comprising
separate UK and Gibraltar parts, led by the Foreign Secretary.
Whilst I am willing to be constructive and imaginative, I will
not accept a formula of participation that does not accord with
what is stated in our manifesto and which amounts to bilateralism
in substance and form.
I also enclose a copy of a Gibraltar Government
press release that was issued on 26 November 1996. You may find
its contents helpful in understanding our position.
We also agreed that it would be helpful if we
settled between ourselves the text of the required letter, before
involving Ministers. I have therefore taken the liberty of drafting,
and I enclose, a draft of letter that deals with both issues and
that would, if agreeable to HMG, issue to me and would enable
Gibraltar Government to take part at talks under the Brussels
I look forward to hearing from you.
29 October 1997