175. Guyana: Assistance to Amerindians

Guyana

HC Deb 22 January 1970

Mr. Brooks

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what requests she has received from the Government of Guyana for financial and technical assistance to improve the health and educational conditions of the Amerindian population of that country; and if she will make a statement.

Mrs. Hart

Since independence the Guyana Government has made five requests for British financial assistance specifically aimed at improving conditions amongst the Amerindian community. We have agreed to meet all those requests, which have included provision for hostels, roads, housing, agriculture and agricultural education. The total cost is £153,000.

Mr. Brooks

While I thank my right hon. Friend for that encouraging reply, does she agree that the situation of the indigenous Indian population of the whole continent is now one of gravity as the interior is opened up? Does she not agree that, however exaggerated reports of brutality against the Amerindian population may have been, a great deal of work remains to be done if these people are to stand a chance of contributing fully to their country in the future?

Mrs. Hart

I am sure that my hon. Friend is aware that the Guyana Government are making considerable efforts to assist on this. They are anxious to achieve integration with the other people of the country. I am glad that we have been able to help. We are willing to consider requests coming to us in the normal way from the Government of Guyana.

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174. Guyana (Defence and Police Forces)

Guyana (Defence and Police Forces)

HC Deb 10 July 1969

Mr. Maclennan

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what request has been received from the Government of Guyana for assistance with the supply of equipment for the Guyana Defence and Police Forces; and what reply has been sent.

Mr. Whitlock

The Government of Guyana have asked us whether it would be possible for Her Majesty’s Government to provide assistance towards the supply of equipment for the Guyana Defence and Police Forces. After careful study of Guyana’s needs, we have informed the Government of Guyana that, subject to Parliamentary approval, we would be prepared to offer them a grant of £100,000 to be spent on British equipment, mainly vehicles, of a type suitable for use by the Guyana Defence Force or by the Police when engaged in normal internal security duties. Supplementary provisions will be sought in due course. In addition, we have offered, subject to the usual aid criteria and conditions, to include in our aid programme to Guyana a loan of up to £200,000 towards the development of communications with the interior of the country.

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173. Guyana: British Troops and Medical Aid

GUYANA: BRITISH TROOPS AND MEDICAL AID

HL Deb 12 March 1969

LORD SORENSEN

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether British troops are still stationed in Guyana, and what assistance in medical services they are rendering to Guyana.]

THE MINISTER OF STATE, FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (LORD CHALFONT)

My Lords, the Answer to the noble Lord’s Question is that British troops are no longer stationed in Guyana.

LORD SORENSEN

My Lords, may I take it, therefore, that the situation in Guyana is now quiet, if not amicable? Would the noble Lord answer the second part of my Question, which he omitted to do, regarding medical services?

LORD CHALFONT

My Lords, I am afraid that in the light of my Answer the second part of the noble Lord’s Question does not apply, unless I have misread the Question. As there are no British troops in Guyana, they can scarcely be rendering any medical services. To answer the first and perhaps more serious part of his supplementary question, the situation in Guyana at the moment from the internal security point of view, is quiet.

LORD SORENSEN

My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that both parts of my Question were serious and not humorous? Would he inform me whether the British Government, through any of their Departments, assist financially doctors from this country who are willing to spend some time in assisting medically the people in Guyana?

LORD CHALFONT

My Lords, I am sorry, but I had no intention of suggesting that either part of my noble friend’s question was facetious or humorous. I thought, perhaps wrongly, that my answer came into that category. The reply to the question about medical assistance other than military medical assistance, to which the initial Question referred, is that the Ministry of Overseas Development have an aid programme to Guyana, which includes assistance in the development of medical facilities in the area.

LORD CLIFFORD OF CHUDLEIGH

My Lords, could the noble Lord say whether there have recently been any threats from Venezuela claiming about a third of Guyana?

LORD CHALFONT

My Lords, as the noble Lord will know, Venezuela has an existing claim to certain parts of Guyana territory, but the question of threats has not arisen.

LORD HAWKE

My Lords, can the noble Lord say whether there is any truth in a report in the American press, which I read to-day, that the Amerindian population of Guyana living on the Venezuelan border has now come out in favour of Mr. Burnham’s Government, whereas previously they have been suspected siding with Venezuela?

LORD CHALFONT

My Lords, I have not seen the report, and this matter goes rather wide of the original Question, if we get any information of that kind I will bring it to the attention of your Lordships’ House.

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172. Guyana (Venezuelan Claim)

Guyana (Venezuelan Claim)

HC Deb 17 February 1969

Sir G. Sinclair

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what talks he has had with the Government of Guyana on the subject of the Venezuelan claim to Guyanese territory.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

The British Government and the Government of Guyana have maintained close consultations on this matter and my right hon. Friend had opportunities to discuss it with the Prime Minister of Guyana during his visit to this country in June 1968 and again when he was here last month for the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Meeting.

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171. Thanks to the Police

THANKS TO THE POLICE

HC Deb 19 November 1968

(Extract)

Sir Charles Taylor (Eastbourne)

 

… For years, denial after denial was issued about the use of C.I.A. money to subsidise or infiltrate student, labour and cultural groups, but in 1967 the whole story came out, and Mr. Thomas Braden, a Californian newspaper publisher, actually claimed credit for it. Again, reports were denied that the general strike which took place in Guyana in 1963 against Dr. Cheddi Jagan was financed by the C.I.A., but they were later shown to be true, and the money was shown to have been channelled through the Public Services International, which has its offices in London.

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170. General Election, Guyana

General Election, Guyana

HC Deb 16 December 1968

Mr. Gregory

asked the Postmaster-General what facilities were provided by his Department to the office of the Government of Guyana in the compilation of voters’ lists for the general election on 16th December, 1968, and for the distribution and collection of ballot papers and envelopes to registered voters in this country.

Mr. Stonehouse

The Guyana High Commissioner’s Office applied for and was granted, under the normal conditions, a Post Office box address to which ballot papers could be returned. No other facilities were sought or given.

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169. Guyana: Venezuelan Claims

GUYANA: VENEZUELAN CLAIMS

HL Deb 06 November 1968

LORD CLIFFORD OF CHUDLEIGH

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consider themselves bound by the 1966 Geneva Agreement to defend, if necessary, the boundary of Guyana against the claims of Venezuela.]

LORD SHEPHERD

My Lords, the Geneva Agreement is essentially an instrument providing for a peaceful resolution by Guyana and Venezuela of their territorial problem. It deals solely with the mechanisms to achieve this and therefore does not contain any obligation in the sense envisaged by the noble Lord.

LORD CLIFFORD OF CHUDLEIGH

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that reply. Would he not agree that it is somewhat dishonourable to boast, as many of us do, that we lead all these countries to independence, and then to permit other and more powerful countries to endanger or negative that achievement? Would he not agree that, even if we are not legally bound, we are morally bound to protect the integrity of the boundaries that we gave to Guyana by the mere fact of our signature not only to the Geneva Agreement but to Article 1 of the Instrument of the Constitution? Finally, in view of our moral commitments to Guyana vis-à-vis Venezuela, to British Honduras vis-à-vis Guatemala, to the Falkland islands vis-à-vis the Argentine, and to Gibraltar vis-à-vis Spain, and so on, quite apart from what was mentioned in the debate yesterday how can Her Majesty’s Government justify the recent decimation of our forces and reserves?

LORD SHEPHERD

My Lords, I think that is one of the most sweeping supplementary questions I have ever had the misfortune to be asked. I would only say to the noble Lord that we have expressed our concern to the Venezuelan Government, and they have said they have no intention of resorting to force in the settlement of this dispute. We have welcomed that statement, and as a result of it we have no reason to believe that Guyana is threatened.

LORD SORENSEN

My Lords, may I ask whether the Guyana Government have consulted Her Majesty’s Government on this matter?

LORD SHEPHERD

My Lords, we are in continuous communication with the Government of Guyana; but that, of course, is confidential.

LORD BLYTON

My Lords, surely my noble friend must agree that if independent British Guiana—now called Guyana—a member of the British Commonwealth, is attacked, we must go to her help?

LORD SHEPHERD

My Lords, it must always depend on the circumstances. We have already expressed our concern about this matter, but we have no reason to believe that Guyana is threatened with military invasion by Venezuela.

LORD HAWKE

My Lords, is it not a fact that Venezuela is claiming a large proportion of the territory of Guyana, whereas Guyana is willing to negotiate about whether the frontier runs on one side of a river or the other? Therefore, as between a large country and a small one, do not the negotiations sound particularly ominous?

LORD SHEPHERD

My Lords, Guyana put her signature to the Geneva Agreement and as an independent country is now negotiating with Venezuela. The meetings are continuing and although there has not been much progress so far the matter is being discussed, as it should be discussed, by two independent countries.

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