• Short Summary

    A CONTINUING BLOCKADE BY SPAIN AGAINST GIBRALTAR HAS PUT IN THE BALANCE THE FUTURE OF THE SELF-GOVERNING BRITISH CROWN COLONY.

  • Description

    A CONTINUING BLOCKADE BY SPAIN AGAINST GIBRALTAR HAS PUT IN THE BALANCE THE FUTURE OF THE SELF-GOVERNING BRITISH CROWN COLONY. THE BORDER WITH SPAIN HAS BEEN CLOSED, AND GIBRALTAR'S CONTACTS WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD ARE BEING MAINTAINED BY LOCAL FERRY SERVICES OPERATING BETWEEN THE COLONY AND TANGIER AND ALGECIRAS, AND CIVILIAN AND ROYAL AIR FORCE AIR SERVICES.

    BECAUSE OF ITS STRATEGIC SITUATION GIBRALTAR HAS BEEN AT THE CENTRE OF INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY SINCE IT WAS FIRST INHABITED BY MOSLEM WANDERERS IN 711. IT WAS HELD BY THE ROMANS; LATER TAKEN BY THE NORMANS; HELD BY SPAIN, AND WAS TAKEN BY A BRITISH NAVAL FORCE IN 1704. DESPITE MANY SIEGES IN AN EFFORT TO RECAPTURE IT, SPAIN CEDED THE TWO AND HALF SQUARE MILES (642 HECTARES) TO BRITAIN IN 1713 UNDER THE TREATY OF UTRECHT.

    IN 1954 SPAIN RAISED THE QUESTION OF GIBRALTAR BEING RETURNED TO SPAIN, AND IN 1964 INTRODUCED RESTRICTIONS ON THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE AND TRAFFIC TO AND FROM THE COLONY. THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT HAD ARGUED THAT A NEW CONSTITUTION FOR GIBRALTAR WAS IN FAVOUR OF BRITISH SETTLERS IN GIBRALTAR RATHER THAN NATIVE GIBRALTARIANS. SPAIN CONSIDERED ITSELF NO LONGER BOUND BY THE TREATY OF UTRECHT.

    TRADE BETWEEN SPAIN AND GIBRALTAR, FORMERLY TRADITIONAL, HAS NOW ALMOST COMPLETELY ENDED. THE COLONY HAS EXTENDED ITS TRADE WITH MOROCCO, BUYING A MAJOR PART OF ITS FOOD FROM THE NORTH AFRICAN COUNTRY AND PROVIDING WORK FOR THOUSANDS OF MOROCCANS. THE MOROCCANS HAVE TAKEN OVER JOBS PREVIOUSLY DONE BY SPANIARDS. AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF RESTRICTIONS BY SPAIN THE SPANISH WORK FORCE IN THE COLONY FELL FROM 20-THOUSAND TO 5-THOUSAND.

    BECAUSE OF ITS MILITARY IMPORTANCE GIBRALTAR IS FAIRLY SELF-SUFFICIENT. ESSENTIAL SERVICES ARE MAINTAINED BY MILITARY PERSONNEL. THE COLONY HAS ITS OWN ELECTRICITY AND WATER SUPPLY, BOTH SYSTEMS HOUSED IN TUNNELS IN THE FAMOUS AND DISTINCTIVE 'ROCK'. IT IS DUE PARTLY TO ITS MILITARY IMPORTANCE, NOW INCREASING AGAIN, THAT A SEPARATE GIBRALTAR MAY SURVIVE THE SPANISH BLOCKADE. THE RECENT NAVAL BUILD-UP IN THE MEDITERRANEAN BY THE SOVIET UNION AND SUBSEQUENTLY BY NATO NAVAL FORCES HAS BROUGHT A RE-APPEARANCE OF ROYAL NAVY SHIPS IN NUMBERS AT GIBRALTAR, WITH ITS READY-MADE FACILITIES.

    THE HARBOUR PROVIDES ANCHORAGE FOR LARGE NUMBERS OF SHIPS AND THE COLONY ALSO HAS EXTENSIVE DRY DOCKS. GIBRALTAR AIRFIELD, MAINTAINED BY THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, IS A MAJOR TERMINAL FOR AIRCRAFT OF TRANSPORT COMMAND. IF THE NAVAL BUILD-UP IN THE MEDITERRANEAN CONTINUES GIBRALTAR'S ADVANTAGE AS A BASE BORDERING THE MEDITERRANEAN AND ATLANTIC WILL INCREASE.

    AN EXPANDING TOURIST TRADE COULD ALSO ASSIST GIBRALTAR IN ITS RESISTANCE TO THE SPANISH BLOCKADE. IT IS CONNECTED BY A REGULAR AIR SERVICE WITH LONDON AND EUROPE AND A FERRY SERVICE WITH NORTH AFRICA. TOURIST ACTIVITY DECLINED WHEN THE FRONTIER WITH SPAIN WAS CLOSED, BUT TOURIST TRAFFIC IS NOW INCREASING.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA1QC8V5E5EC0T8H2MHO7KZ8P2V
    Media URN:
    VLVA1QC8V5E5EC0T8H2MHO7KZ8P2V
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/11/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:05:27:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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