Following a meeting of the Western European Union (W.E.U.) ministerial council on Thursday (1 July),?
GV Flags outside lancaster House, London
SCU Sir Alec Douglas-Home nearest camera adjusts documents
GV PAN Conference room
SLV ZOOM IN Douglas-Home (SOUND)
TRANSCRIPT: HOME (SEQ. 4): "Yes, I can be quite specific, I told the conference that we had a request from the Prime Minister of Malta for a review of the defence arrangements with Malta, that we had told the Prime Minister of course that we could consider his point of view when we know it and the High Commissioner has arrived in London now so we shall be discussing with him the point of view of the Malta Prime Minister which we don't yet know."
QUESTION: "Do you intend to meet Mr. Mintoff to discuss this question?"
HOME: "No, this is not on the agenda, so far, at any rate, we want to hear what his point of view is, what requests he is making of us, and these I think may be conveyed to use by the High Commissioner if not of course we shall have to have further exchanges to discover what they are."
Initials BB/0200 MF/BOB/BB/0145
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Following a meeting of the Western European Union (W.E.U.) ministerial council on Thursday (1 July), the British Foreign Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home told a press conference that the council had discussed threats by Malta to end her defence agreements, and the British government was waiting for an official approach from malta before deciding what to do. Until then, the Prime Minister of Malta had only requested a review of Britain's defence arrangements with Malta.
The prime Minister of Malta, Mr. Dom Mintoff, who was voted into office last week, has declared his intention of negotiating new agreements with all states and organisations using Malta as a naval base, in order to secure a better deal for the island. Among those primarily affected is Britain and the Western joint defence organisation, N.A.T.O.