The Falkland Islands – History & Timeline

Falkland Wars 1480 – now!

1945 – 1965 Decolonization

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1945 – February 11th, following Yalta Conference, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin declare their resolve to establish “a general international organization to maintain peace and security”. Yalta

March 27th, Argentina declares war on Germany in order to be eligible to attend the international conference being arranged for April.

On April 25th, delegates of 50 nations meet in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization. A Charter is drawn up; including within its articles, at the insistence of the USSR, the concept of self-determination.

The Committee responsible for the drafting of the relevant provision agreed on four points. First, ‘this principle corresponded closely to the will and desires of peoples everywhere and should be clearly enunciated in the Chapter [of the UN Charter].’ second, ‘the principle conformed to the purposes of the Charter only insofar as it implied the right of self-government of peoples and not the right of secession.’ Third, it was agreed that the principle of self-determination ‘as one whole extends as a general basic conception to a possible amalgamation of nationalities if they so freely choose.’ Fourth, it was agreed that ‘an essential element of the principle [of self-determination] is free and genuine expression of the will of the people, …” [Casses 1998]

In May, at the 25th Meeting of the Fourth Committee on Decolonisation, Argentina makes a reservation to the effect that the Argentine Government does not recognise British sovereignty in the Falkland Islands. The delegation of the United Kingdom then makes a parallel reservation, not recognising Argentine sovereignty.

June 26th, the United Nations Charter, the foundation document of the UN, is signed in a ceremony in San Fransisco.

Article 1 states; “The Purposes of the United Nations are:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.”

On October 24th, the Charter comes into force following ratification by 29 of the original 50 signatories, including the United Kingdom and Argentina. Articles 73 and 74 of the Charter deal specifically with the relationship between Non-Self Governing Territories (NSGT) and what had been the colonial power.

Article 73.

‘Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end:

  1. to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their protection against abuses;
  2. to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement;
  3. to further international peace and security;
  4. to promote constructive measures of development, to encourage research, and to co-operate with one another and, when and where appropriate, with specialized international bodies with a view to the practical achievement of the social, economic, and scientific purposes set forth in this Article; and
  5. to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General for information purposes, subject to such limitation as security and constitutional considerations may require, statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social, and educational conditions in the territories for which they are respectively responsible other than those territories to which Chapters XII and XIII apply.’

Article 74

“Members of the United Nations also agree that their policy in respect of the territories to which this Chapter applies, no less than in respect of their metropolitan areas, must be based on the general principle of good-neighbourliness, due account being taken of the interests and well-being of the rest of the world, in social, economic, and commercial matters.”

Article 103deals with the paramountcy of the UN Charter as an international Treaty: “In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.”

July 9th, a proposal to send senior German military officers, in small groups, to live in remote British colonies such as the Falklands, is considered by senior staff officers of the Allied armies.

Operation Tabarin is reorganised with the objective of administering British bases in the Falklands’ Dependencies and the Antarctic Territory – now to be known as Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS).

Whaling licences are reissued by the Governor and processing restarts at South Georgia with shore stations at Grytviken, Husvik and Leith.

In September, Governor Cardinall writes; “ This colony is so hopelessly unlike any other Crown Colony in that it is entirely peopled by the British, most of whom look to retire to the motherland, that I am even toying with the idea, now that air traffic is so speedy and certain, to put forward a suggestion that the Island is incorporated in the United Kingdom.”

1946 – the UN founds the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under Art.92 of the Charter, as a replacement for the Permanent Court of International Justice which had operated at the Hague from 1922 to its dissolution in 1945.

In February, Stonington Island in West Graham Land is established by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey as a base to explore and map the Antarctic Peninsula. Wood from the deserted whaling station at Deception Island is used to construct the base.

February 9th, the UN General Assembly adopts Resolution 9(1) regarding Non-Self Governing Peoples bringing into immediate effect Articles 73 and 74 copncerning the provision of information to the UN by the Administering Powers.

A population census identifies 2,239 people present on the Islands.

In May, from London, Argentina’s Embassy informs Buenos Aires of the issue of a new set of stamps by the Falkland Islands. One series is surcharged ‘South Orkneys Dependency of the Falkland Islands,’ while others show South Georgia, the South Shetlands and Graham Land.

In June, the Secretary-General of the United Nations writes to all the members asking for their interpretation of the term ‘non-self governing territory’ and whether or not they consider themselves as administering such a territory. Countries that administer such territories are also asked to submit a list and indicate what information they will provide under Art.73 of the Charter.

June 3rd, Argentina informs the British Ambassador, Sir Reginald Leeper, that it will not recognise Falkland Islands stamps as valid. A similar message is sent to the International Postal Union.

September 2nd, an Argentine Decree extends the westerly limit of her Antarctic claim to longitude 74ºW. Law 8,944 prohibits the publication of school maps that do not include Argentina’s Antarctic claims.

On October 14th, the ‘Victory’ bar opens in Stanley

October 21st, Britain responds to the Secretary-General’s request:  Your Excellency requested the views of His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom regarding the factors to be taken into account in determining which territories are to be included within the scope of Chapter XI. In the view of H.M.G. it would be difficult to define in detail principles capable of general application, bearing in mind the great variety of conditions in the territories referred to in this Article and the number of different members of the United Nations who have responsibilities for such territories. The terms of Article 73 (e) appear to provide a sufficient and satisfactory guide in practice, and His Majesty’s Government feel that the purposes of this Article can be adequately fulfilled without the necessity of any further interpretation. ….”

Britain’s list includes the inhabited Falkland Islands, but not South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands or any of the sub-Antarctic islands, or British Antarctica, as these have no “people” who can be brought to ‘self-government.’

In order that the information provided on the NSGTs can be reviewed, the UN General Assembly forms an ad hoc committee for the purpose. This committee is established as a sub-committee to the Fourth Committee, itself a sub-committee of the General Assembly. The Assembly determine that the Ad hoc Committee on Information from Non-Self Governing Territories should be made up of all those countries which had provided lists, plus an equal number of other Nations.

President Peron issues Decree 14.708 claiming sovereignty over the “.. epicontinental sea and continental shelf.”

In November, the Instituto Geografico Militar publishes a map which includes the Falkland Islands and South Georgia as Argentine territory. It also shows an Argentine Antarctic sector lying between the meridians 25º and 74º West, and bounded in the north by the 60º parallel. The South Sandwich Islands are outside the area shown.

Geoffrey Miles Clifford takes over as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Falkland Islands.

His first acts were to bring two unofficial members on to the Legislative Council and to establish a Stanley Town Council… The Town Council comprised six elected members and three nominated by government.”  (Tatham 2008)

December 14th, UN Resolution 66(I) recognises 74 territories as ‘non-self-governing.’

1947 – January 3rd, based on newspaper reports of a forthcoming expedition, Britain formally rejects all Argentine claims to the Falkland Islands and Dependencies in a Note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Buenos Aires.

In 1947, some three years after the renewal of the British programme of bases, the Argentine Government began a course of systematic encroachment on the British territories of the South Shetlands and Graham Land.”

January 29th, Capt. Luis Miguel Garcia, in command of a fleet of 7 ships out of Ushuaia with orders to construct a permanent base, arrives at Deception Island to find two vessels from the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey already there. After making a protest, his force retires.

February 28th, in the Nottingham Evening Post; “Argentina’s claims to the Falkland Islands and an Antarctic area are reaffirmed in a Note from Dr. Bramuglia, Argentine Foreign Minister, to Sir Reginald Leeper, British ambassador in Buenos Aires, in reply to a note from the Ambassador pointing out that the islands have been administered under Britain for 100 years. Sir Reginald offered British aid for Argentine expeditions to the Antarctic. Dr. Bramuglia declines the proposed aid for Antarctic expeditions as “the terms employed do not correspond with the clear position of Argentina on the questions mentioned.” Rejecting the British case as one-sided, he claims that the Argentine was “the first effective occupant of the Antarctic zone.”

During March, the Governor of the Falkland Islands makes a tour of the Dependencies and gives formal written protests to the officers in charge of Argentine posts on Laurie Island and Gamma Island and to the Chilean commander of a base on Greenwich Island.

On May 16th, in Santiago, the Chilean Government rejects the protests made against it.

June 24th, President Juan Perón issues Decree No. 14 062, which states; ” … In view of the necessity of collecting all records which exist in the country regarding Argentina’s irrevocable rights over the Falkland and South Georgia Islands, and considering that the findings presented by the National Antarctic Committee which functions under the directions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were inspired by the same purpose as that of the ‘Gobierno Superior’, to protect and recover the territorial estate which legally belongs to the Republic …”

July 27th, Argentina and Chile sign a Joint Declaration proclaiming that; “… it is their desire to arrive as soon as possible at the conclusion of a Treaty between Argentina and Chile, regarding the demarcation of boundaries in the South American Antarctic.”

August 15th, in Rio de Janeiro, the Inter-American Conference brings together the Foreign Ministers of the American states to discuss issues of security.

August 26th, at the Conference, a decision is made to define a ‘security zone’ around the Americas, identifying the geographical ares to which any agreements will apply. At the insistence of Argentina’s delegation, led by Dr. Pascual La Rosa, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South sandwich Islands and the Antarctic areas claimed by his country, are included within the southern section of the zone.

August 27th, a treaty of reciprocal assistance is agreed, whereby an attack on one of the signatories is to be considered an attack on all. At the press conference which follows, Argentine delegate Dr. Atilio Bramuglia, asked whether the Treaty supported Argentina’s claim to the Falklands, replies that; “ .. the Treaty does not imply recognition of sovereignty to anyone, but it is understood that (a claim) exists, otherwise (the islands) would not be included. ..”

December 12th, five vessels of the Argentine navy anchor at Deception Island with sufficient stores and material to set up a permanent base next to the British building. Deception Island

Uruguay and Britain sign an agreement for air flights between the Islands and Montevideo.

December 17th, in an exchange of protests, the UK invites both Argentina and Chile to take their sovereignty claims to the ICJ; If .. the Argentine Government are unwilling to admit the validity of His majesty’s Government’s title to Gamma Island or any other region included in the Falkland Islands Dependencies and consider that their own title is a good one, it is suggested that their correct course is not to maintain without the consent of His majesty’s Government an occupied post in a territory to which His Majesty’s Government’s claim of title is universally known and which His Majesty’s Government have for long actively administered; but, to invoke the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. ..”

HMS Snipe is posted to the Falklands in order that Governor Clifford can check upon the British territories of the Dependencies and in Antarctica.

Late in December of 1947 it became apparent that a crisis was impending in British relations with Argentina and Chile over the Antarctic question. Mr. Miles Clifford, the Governor of the Falkland Islands, was therefore instructed to visit all the British posts, and for this purpose HMS Snipe, a 2,000 ton frigate of the American and West Indian squadron, was placed at his disposal.” (Hunter-Christie 1951)

1948 – January 28th, in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s Government responds to Britain’s invitation in a letter to the British Embassy; “ … Were Argentina, which exercises sovereignty de jure and de facto over its Antarctic sector, to petition the International Court, she could appear in the position of a state requesting something which belonged to her but over which she did not exercise effective possession. And the situation is otherwise, as is shown by the permanent installations which consolidate our rights.”

The response asserts that Argentina’s claim is “incontestable” and suggests that it would be better that the “juridico-political” status of the Antarctic be determined by an international conference; hosted in Buenos Aires.

January 31st, Chile responds; While we have always maintained the principle that controversies of a juridical nature which may arise between states should be subject to international jurisdiction and we have in this respect a tradition of which we may well be proud, I cannot in this case share the point of view of Your Excellency’s Government since, in the first place, there would be no logical justification in Chile having to approach the International Court of Justice, before effecting acts of sovereignty, within a territory over which she holds irrefutable juridical, political, historical, geographic, diplomatic and administrative titles;..”

February 14th, HMS Nigeria is deployed from Cape Town to the Falklands with orders to patrol the Dependencies, and to investigate reports of Argentine landings.

February 16th, in Parliament, the Foreign Secretary is asked whether Argentina have now ceased their acts of trespass in the Dependencies. Mr. McNeil responds; “ No, Sir. Argentine and Chilean naval forces are at present operating in British waters in the Falkland Island Dependencies, with the declared object of enforcing claims to sovereignty in this area. They have also landed parties, and purport to have set up military commands in British Territory. His Majesty’s Government consider the British title to the Falkland Islands Dependencies to be well founded, and have been willing that it should stand the test of international arbitration. In the protests which we made to the Argentine and Chilean Governments in December last, we made it plain that we would accept the decision of the International Court. This offer has been rejected by both Governments, and we can only regard this as evidence that they have no confidence in their ability to dispute our legal title…. It should not be supposed that we shall overlook the challenge to our authority.”

February 17th, Chilean President, Gabriel González Videla, visits his country’s base on Greenwich Island, one of Britain’s South Shetland Islands. On his return to Santiago, Videla makes a speech attacking the British claim, ” We would deny our glorious history, we would deny our past, if we were to renounce a single piece of our territory, only because there are those who believe that acts of imperialism today constitute a title of sovereignty.”

February 18th, in an interview, Australia’s Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, states that, if asked, he would consider sending a cruiser in support of British sovereignty over the Falklands.

February 20th, Marshall of the Royal Air Force, Lord Tedder, speaking in Glasgow, refers to jackals which, if the lion appeared to be weakening, would come; yapping and snapping round his flanks.”

President Videla takes the remarks personally.

February 21st, HMS Nigeria arrives in the South Atlantic ready to confront an Argentine task force consisting of 2 cruisers, the Almirante Brown and the Veinticinco de Mayo, accompanied by 6 destroyers and other small craft which are reported to be on ‘manoeuvres‘ near Deception Island.

The Argentine fleet carrying five Admirals is now, I understand, off Deception Island. His Majesty’s representative in Buenos Aires has been assured by the Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs that these vessels have been sent with no intention of asserting any rights or taking possession of any territory but merely to carry out routine exercises in that area…”

February 24th, published in the Edmonton Journal; “Reports from Argentina indicate that public opinion is aroused to something approaching hysteria, and it seems that the same is true of Chile. Newspapers demand that the inter-American treaty be enforced to protect the southern part of the hemisphere against British intruders. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, however, has declared at a press conference that the United States is “interested in the controversy” but did not believe that the treaty could be applied…”

February 25th, Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, tells Parliament that;  “The policy of His Majesty’s Government is that the question of rival claims in the Falkland Islands Dependencies should, in the first instance, be brought before the International Court of Justice. This is based on our belief that international discussions could scarcely be profitable until the question of title has been subjected to international legal examination. This, of course, in no way precludes the possibility of discussions at a later stage.

It has been suggested from the Chilean side that our offer to accept the opinion of the Court was not a fair one because we were asking the other parties to appear as plaintiffs. I wish to point out that the sole reason for presenting the matter in this form was that neither Argentina nor Chile had accepted the Optional Clause of the Statute of the International Court of justice and that consequently it is impossible at present for His Majesty’s Government to bring this dispute before the Court by themselves proceeding as plaintiffs.

His Majesty’s Government desire, however, to reaffirm that if the Argentine and Chilean Governments are willing to make an agreement with us under which the Court shall pronounce upon the title to these territories, we shall be glad to collaborate in the negotiation of such an agreement….. “

March 3rd, the song, ‘Marcha de las Malvinas’, is premiered by the Argentine National Symphony Orchestra.

March 4th, an Argentine mine-sweeper, Parke, warns a Norwegian fishing vessel, Brategg, that she requires Argentine permission to anchor at Deception Island. The warning, written into the ships log, is subsequently struck out by the harbour master at Whalers Bay as ‘illegal’.

On the same day, the Governments of Chile and Argentina announce a round of negotiations to delineate their claims in the Antarctic region.

March 23rd, the Foreign Secretary answers a question in the House of Commons; “Occupied posts have been established, in defiance of our protests, by the Argentines on Laurie Island in the South Orkneys group, on Gamma Island in the Palmer Archipelago, and on Deception Island in the South Shetlands group; and by the Chileans on Greenwich Island in the South Shetlands group and on South Graham Land. The House will be aware that His Majesty’s Government have, on more than one occasion, offered to refer this question to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, but the Argentine and Chilean Governments have not seen fit to avail themselves of this offer.”

March 30th, the Argentine delegation to the International American Conference in Bogata is annoyed to learn that the British Embassy to Colombia has distributed a 4 page document outlining Britain’s title to the Falkland Islands.

97l/18/huty/6893/29April 27th, in Buenos Aires, President Peron talks to the US Ambassador: He blamed the British for provoking the recent disagreements over the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic regions. He said that the naval maneuvers which had drawn the British ire were nothing new but were maneuvers which Argentina had engaged in before for many years. He said the British, were to blame for making too much out of these routine maneuvers and that they sent British warships to the Falkland Islands for what were undoubtedly political reasons not very clear to him. He described the Falkland Islands question as being a matter of “life and death” for Argentina and said that British possession of the Falkland Islands might be described as a fish-bone in the throat of every Argentine and the irritation would not be removed until the fish-bone was disgorged; every Argentine was convinced of the validity of Argentine claim to Falklands. …”

May 2nd, at the conclusion of the Conference of American States in Bogota, Resolution XXXIII declares that it is the aspiration of the American Republics that colonialism and the occupation of American territories by “extra-continental countries” should be ended – listed as Belize, the Falkland Islands, the South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia and what is described as the “American zone of Antarctica.”

Resolution XCVII states that; “.. perhaps for the first time, that the principle of the absolute and unconditional exercise of self-determination might in certain cases yield to another not less important principle, the principle of territorial integrity.”

 May 5th, Vice-Admiral Sir William Tennant writes to the First Sea Lord, Sir John Cunningham; “ .. I would hold onto the Falkland Islands and South Georgia at all costs, even to the extent of going to war. But for the rest, would it not be a good idea to form an Antarctic club of those countries interested … and discuss the question of nationalising the whole of the Antarctic. If the Argentines were too stupid to listen to any of this then I see no alternative to continue the rather childish performance that has gone on between our ships for a number of years.”

June 4th, from Stanley, a petition is sent to London complaining of the ‘dictatorial’ manner of the Governor in implementing rises in taxation, and pointing out; “It is significant that after 115 years the Colony is still without representative government and it is evident that under the present administration elected representation on the Executive Council is a necessary preliminary to self-administration.”

On June 9th, Argentine Government Decree 17.040 establishes the División Antártida y Malvinas, to deal with matters pertinent to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the British Antarctic territories.

Peron’s chief propaganda drive is directed against Great Britain .. It  enters on the Antarctic … and also includes the Falklands and their dependent islands .. Recently, the Peronist press has been full of demands that the Malvinas and a part of Antarctica shall be recognised as Argentinean territory. In this demand, Argentina has allied itself with Chile, which is also to get its slice. At present, however, it seems very doubtful that Peron really wants the Malvinas, much less the Antarctic. He is simply whipping up nationalist sentiment and making an inexpensive bid for Chilean friendship.” (Isherwood 1949)

June 19th, referring to the Islanders’ protest, a Colonial Office minute notes; “The people are virtually of UK stock, and it is easy to understand their desire for that measure of control over their own affairs which they would enjoy in the UK itself through urban district councils or county councils.”

July 3rd, Governor Clifford telegrams the Colonial Office on the subject of the petition; “ The root of the present discontent .. is the absence of popular representation and, as such, I must say at once that it has my entire sympathy.”

The Colonial Office acknowledges the Islanders’ concerns and asks the Governor to address the issue of democratic reform with the local population.

In October, the British naval attaché in Buenos Aires, Tony Lincoln, writes to the Foreign Office in London, noting with regard to the Falkland Islands, “.. a belief in the justice of their claims is one conviction common to all Argentines; irrespective of class and party; it is perhaps the only reliable key to national unity.”

Governor Clifford proposes, to the Legislative Council, reforms to its constitution that would provide for a fairer mix of appointed and elected members.

October 6th, in Paris, speaking to the UN’s Trusteeship Committee, Argentina’s Ambassador to the UN, M.R. Varela; “Argentina cannot agree that the Falkland Islands can be anything but Argentine. We cannot take into consideration this report, which includes the islands among the non-self-governing territories.”

November 19th, “The Falkland Islands and the Dependencies have been in the news of late, owing to the action of Argentina in advancing yet another claim for their possession. This ‘claim’ is of true comic opera pattern. The ‘argument’ is that, because Spain was once in possession of all South American territories, therefore Argentina, having assisted in expelling the Spaniards from the continent, the Falkland Islands are now the property of Argentina!” (Falkland Islands Weekly News)

November 26th, Joseph Lynch, a member of HMS Nigeria‘s crew, rescues leading seaman Hughes who falls overboard in Stanley harbour while disembarking from a ship’s cutter.

[Lynch was invested with the Albert Medal in 1951 and re-invested with the George Cross in 1973.]

December 1st, in a speech to the House of Lords, the Earl of Perth refers to the claims of Chile and Argentina; “.. Clearly, cases of this kind ought to be referred to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, as His Majesty’s Government have expressed their willingness to refer them, for a decision on legal ownership. The claimants, however, are showing themselves reluctant to adopt this procedure, and I cannot but deduce from their hesitation that in fact the claims are not legally sound.”

December 13th, following suggestions from the Islands, and a review by the British Government, a new Legislative Council is constituted. The Council will now consist of the Governor, as President, two ex-officio officers (the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary) and elected members.

Royal Instructions provide for the constitution of an Executive Council consisting of two ex-officio members (the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary), two unofficial members appointed by the Governor and two elected members of the Legislative Council. The Governor is required to consult the Executive Council before making decisions. Although not obliged to take their advice, if he does not do so then the Governor must report the reasons to Foreign Secretary in London.

The Governor retains the power – (a) to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Dependencies, (b) to appoint judges and other officers, (c) to dismiss any person holding public office, (d) to make grants and dispositions of land within the Colony.

The Dependencies remain legally distinct from the Falkland Islands but are administered from them.

December 24th, the Falkland Islands Air Service commences operations from Port Stanley, offering a medical and mail service to the outlying communities.

1949 – March 24th, in Havana, Argentina asserts that it; has unquestioned rights to the Falklands, to the South Georgia Islands, to the South Sandwich Islands and to the Argentine Antarctic; Argentina’s ownership is established by incontrovertible rights – historic, juridical and geographical.”

March 31st, Civil Judge, Robert Palmieri, rules that children born in the Falkland Islands can be listed in Argentina’s public records as if they are Argentine. Following this ruling, Argentina refuses to recognise the validity of birth certificates issued in the Falkland Islands.

In April, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is founded on an agreement for reciprocal defence. Article 5 of the Treaty states; ” The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. ..”

In June, on holiday in Montevideo, Governor Clifford – asked by the local press about his views on Argentina’s claims to the Falklands – answers; “We do not pay any attention to them.”

December 2nd, in Resolution 334 (IV) the UN decides that only the General Assembly can express an opinion as to which territories are subject to the information requirements of Art.73.

[Administering Powers, having submitted their original lists of NSGTs, were making their own decisions as to when they would stop transmitting the required information – usually on the ground that a NSGT territory had either reached an effective level of self-government, or had changed its status. This Resolution was the Assembly’s attempt to regain power over the process. This also effectively decided that only the Assembly could add, or subtract, from the list of NSGTs.]

1950 – January 1st, a Meteorological Service is established at Stanley, run by the FIDS, which also takes over the weather station in Grytviken.

FIJune 9th, in Buenos Aires, the Postmaster General serves notice that any mail arriving in Argentina bearing a Falkland Islands, or Dependencies, stamp, will be treated as unfranked.

July 19th, in Argentina, Deputy Absalón Rojas, during a discussion in the Chamber, blames General Rosas for the loss of sovereignty over the Falklands in 1850. He states that failing to make any reference to the Falkland Islands in the peace treaty with Britain was a fatal omission.

October 16th, Ernesto Tornquist sinks in the bay that now bears her name at South Georgia.

1951 – February 13th, in La Nacion, President Peron is quoted as saying; “Time offers the best form of justice. We must, therefore, confidently wait because, if at this point what justly belongs to us is not acknowledged as ours, the progressively greater power of Argentina and time will form the undisputable basis of our rights. Some day, probably, if justice does not prevail, we shall make Argentine rights prevail, if necessary by the use of force.”

April 27th, the National Court of La Plata orders the seizure of all copies of the Italian Touring Club International Atlas as it shows that Argentina does not exercise sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. (Caillet-Bois 6th ed. 1982)

April 30th, once again, Britain offers to take the dispute over the Falkland Island’s Dependencies to the International Court of Justice. Again Argentina refuses.

May 1st, President Juan Peron, in his annual speech to Congress, asks for support from other South American countries in Argentina’s long-standing dispute over the Falklands; “The Argentine Republic wants to maintain solidarity with all the nations of America, but demands that America show solidarity too, at least with respect to out true, inalienable right.”

November 11th, the Don Samuel is wrecked outside Queen Maude Bay.

In December, six Argentine ships arrive at Hope Bay and construct a base.

During the austral summer, 5 British weather stations, established in the Dependencies, submit weather reports to Stanley which are analyzed, and the resulting forecasts’ broadcast to whaling ship in the area.

1952 –  January 18th, UN Resolution 567 (VI) outlines a list of factors to be taken into consideration in deciding whether a territory is, or is not, sufficiently self-governing to be removed from its list of NSGTs.

The condition under which the provisions of Chapter XI of the Charter cease to apply will be that the inhabitants of the territory have attained, through political advancement, a full measure of self-government. The fulfilment of this condition may be achieved by various means, involving in all cases the expression of the free will of the people. The two principle means are (a) the attainment of independence and (b) the union of the territory on a footing of equal status with other component parts of the metropolitan or other country or its association on the same conditions with the metropolitan or other country or countries. The extent to which the provisions of Article 73 e continue to apply in the case of territories which have become neither independent nor fully integrated within another State but which have already attained a full measure of self-government in their internal affairs is a question which merits further study.”

February 1st, Argentine sailors fire machine guns over the heads of a party of British scientists and support staff attempting to rebuild a base at Hope Bay on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

February 4th, informed by radio, Governor Clifford sets out for Hope Bay with HMS Veryon Bay and HMS Burghead Bay to investigate the incident and oversee the rebuilding work while the British Ambassador in Buenos Aires lodges a formal protest with Argentina.

Argentina’s Government response is to blame their Commander at Hope Bay for taking an, “ over-literal interpretation of his instructions.” On their return to Buenos Aires however, the seamen are feted by President Peron; “Soldiers and sailors when they are carrying out so sacred a duty as that of serving their country are permitted to err through displaying too much energy, but they are never permitted to err by displaying too much weakness.”

In London, Prime Minister Winston Churchill calls for a review of defence plans for the Falkland Islands.

During April, an experimental return flight from the UK is made by Aquila Airways Ltd.

HMS Veryan Bay is sent to the Falklands with a complement of 30 marines.

April 26th, in Buenos Aires, President Peron is reported in La Nacion as saying that; ”Argentine sovereignty will have to be re-stated every year with a new effort.”

May 22nd, Peron is reported by La Nacion as saying; “ We defend our rights and time will confirm them. We must therefore wait with confidence and launch generations of Argentines towards the Antarctic . . .”

October 21st, Argentina protests Uruguay’s agreement to form an air-link with the Falklands; and the appointment of a consular agent at Stanley. In Montevideo, Uruguay’s Government point out that the Vice-Consul was appointed in 1924 and the transport agreement signed in 1947.

October 28th, in reprisal, Argentina bans her shipping from calling at Uruguay’s ports.

December 10th, Colonial Secretary Oliver Lyttelton, announces the building of Antarctic military bases.

December 16th, UN Resolution 637 (VII) A, entitled The Right of Peoples and Nations to Self-Determination  states inter alia; “… Whereas every Member of the United Nations, in conformity with the Charter, should respect the maintenance of the right of self-determination in other States, …The General Assembly recommends that; 1. The Member States of the United Nations shall uphold the principle of self-determination of all peoples and nations;… 2. The Member States of the United Nations shall recognize and promote the realization of this right of self-determination of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories who are under their administration and shall facilitate the exercise of this right by the peoples of such Territories according to the principles and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations in regard to each Territory and to the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, the wishes of the people being ascertained through plebiscites or other recognised democratic means, preferably under the auspices of the United Nations; …

1953 –  January, in a further reprisal, Argentina restricts the amount of permits given to its citizens allowing travel to Uruguay.

February 11th, HMS Superb arrives at the Falklands. Its marine contingent transfer to HMS Snipe.

February 15th, on Deception Island, a magistrate and constables from the Falkland Islands Police, assisted by marines from HMS Snipe, detain two men for trespassing before demolishing Argentine and Chilean buildings.

Southern Wave, a whale catcherowned by Christian Salvesen, is scuttled off Stromness Bay.

February 16th, Britain’s Ambassadors in Santiago and Buenos Aires inform the Chilean and Argentine Governments of the action at Deception Island and register formal protests. Once again the UK challenges both Argentina and Chile to take their claims to the ICJ.

February 18th, the two men arrested for trespass are handed over to an Argentine ship at South Georgia.

February 20th, both Chile and Argentina reassert their conflicting claims to Deception Island. Chile mobilizes its navy, and threatens to take its case to the Organisation of American States (OAS).

February 21st, Britain deploys a Royal Marines detachment to Deception Island for 3 months.

February 23rd, in a statement to the House of Lords, a Government spokesman says; “ … At the beginning of this month Her Majesty’s Government were informed that Argentina and Chile had established naval parties on the airstrip adjoining the British base at Port Foster, Deception Island, which is British territory, and that permanent buildings had been erected. These encroachments represented not merely an infringement of our sovereignty on the Island, but a nuisance and an obstruction to those who were maintaining our base. Instructions were accordingly given to the Acting Governor of the Falkland Islands to dismantle the buildings which had been erected and to arrest and deport under the Falkland Islands Aliens Ordinance any occupants found in them. … Two occupants of the Argentine hut were arrested, without resistance, and the Argentine and Chilean huts were dismantled. The Chilean hut was unoccupied. … In taking the steps I have described, the Government have been concerned to dispel any doubt about their attitude to encroachments of this type on British territory. At the same time they have repeated the offer made to both countries by the late Government to refer the conflicting claims to territory in the Antarctic to the International Court of Justice. I am sorry to say that both countries, in their Notes, have seen fit once more to reject this offer.”

The regular population census identifies 2,230 people present on the Islands.

June 2nd, in England for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II,  Argentina’s representative, Admiral Alberto Teisaire, tells the British Government that Argentina is prepared to buy the Falklands. The offer is rejected.

.. it was inconceivable that such a sale should be considered because there would at once be a tremendous outcry from the public and the government would certainly be overthrown.”

August 20th, Sir Oswald Raynor Arthur is gazetted Governor.

November 17th, at the Hague, the Minquiers and Ecrehos case –  concerning sovereignty over a number of islets lying between the British Channel Islands and France – is considered by the ICJ; “Judge Alvarez, .. made a declaration expressing regret that the Parties had attributed excessive importance to mediæval evidence and had not sufficiently taken into account the state of international law or its present tendencies in regard to territorial sovereignty.”

1954 – April 28th, Minister Henry Hopkinson tell the House of Commons that eleven unauthorised foreign settlements have been set up in the Falkland Islands Dependencies, and that the Government has protested to the governments concerned, Argentina and Chile.

The whale catcher, Southern Shore, is scuttled off Stromness Bay.

August 25th, an Argentine law is promulgated granting “the Antarctic sector and the Islands of the South Atlantic,” the status of “National Territories.”

November 22nd, through UN Resolution 850(IX) the General Assembly; “Considers that, in order to evaluate as fully as possible the opinion of the population as to the status or change in status which they desire, a mission, if the General Assembly deems it desirable, should, in agreement with the Administering Member, visit the Non-Self-Governing Territory before or during the time when the population is called upon to decide on its future status or change in status.”

In December, Britain reoccupies six of its bases on the Antarctic Peninsula.

December 15th, Argentina reasserts her claim to the Falklands; “.. neither directly nor indirectly can British occupation of the Malvinas be considered lawful because it derived from an act of force.”

December 21st, the UK invites Argentina to refer the dispute to an independent ad hoc arbitral panel. The same message states that; “ … in the event of Argentina (or equally Chile) failing to accept its offer of arbitration, it reserved the right to take such steps as might be open to it to obtain adjudication of its legal rights. One of the steps open to the United Kingdom is to bring the dispute before the Court by a Unilateral Application under Article 40 (1) of the Statute and Article 32 (2) of the Rules, and, as indicated … it is this procedure which the United Kingdom has elected to adopt.”

Grytviken 21955 – May 4th, with no response from either Chile or Argentina, Britain presents its own case to the ICJ; “The Government of the United Kingdom, in submitting this application to the Court, accordingly contends :-

(1) that by reason of historic British discoveries of certain territories in the Antarctic and siub-Antarctic ; by reason of the long-continued and peaceful display of British sovereignty from the date of those discoveries onwards in, and in regard to, the territories concerned; by reason of the incorporation of these territories in the dominions of the British Crown ; by virtue of their forma1 constitution in the Royal Letters Patent of 1908 and 1917 as the British Possession called the Falkland Islands Dependencies : the United Kingdom possesses, and at all material dates has possessed, the sovereignty over the territories of the Falkland Islands Dependencies, and in particular the South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys, South Shetlands, Graham Land and Coats Land;

(2) that the legal titles of the United Kingdom to the Falkland Islands Dependencies, and in particular to the South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys. South Shetlands, Graham Land and Coats Land, are, and at all material dates have been, superior to the claims of any other State, and in particular to those of the Republic of Argentina;

(3) that, in consequence, the pretensions of the Republic of Argentina to the South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys, South Shetlands, Graham Land and Coats Land, and her encroachments and pretended acts of sovereignty in those territories are, under international law, illegal and invalid.

The Government of the United Kingdom therefore, asks the Court to declare –

(1) that the United Kingdom, as against the Republic of Argentina, possesses, and at all material dates has possessed, valid and subsisting legal titles to the sovereignty over all the territories comprised in the Falkland Islands Dependencies, and in particular South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys, South Shetlands, Graham Land and Coats Land;

(2) that the pretensions of the Republic of Argentina to the territories comprised in the Falkland Islands Dependencies, and in particular South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys, South Shetlands, Graham Land and Coats Land, and her encroachments and pretended acts of sovereignty in or relative to any of those territories are, under international law, illegal and invalid;

(3) that the Republic of Argentina is bound to respect the United Kingdom’s sovereignty over the territories comprised in the Falkland Islands Dependencies, and in particular South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys, South Shetlands, Graham Land and Coats Land, to cease her pretensions to exercise sovereignty in or relative to those territories and, if called on by the United Kingdom, to withdraw from them all or any Argentine personnel and equipment.”

Busen 6, a whale catcher owned by Tonsbergs Hvalfangeri, is scuttled off Stromness Bay.

On the same day, Argentina’s Foreign Minister sends a note to the British Embassy in Buenos Aires stating that it is; “.. not possible to produce a correct description of the question to which the Embassy of Her Britannic Majesty refers, without mentioning the occupation of the Malvinas Islands by the United Kingdom. As long as this aggression and the resulting usurped possession has not been remedied through the restitution of this archipelago to the Argentine Republic, the Argentine Government cannot conceive nor accept as either friendly or legal any proposition which has as its base the continuation of this usurpation. Even less could it admit that one could pretend to base said usurpation on titles of sovereignty over other Argentine territories, which would lead to the result that the latter would be affected by the consequences of the aggression to which the Malvinas Islands were subjected. No rights in favour of Great Britain could result from this situation. “ (noted in Greig 1983)

.. while Argentina expressed the view in the clearest way that it did not believe that the dispute as to sovereignty with regard to certain Antarctic territories could be dealt with in isolation from the dispute over the Malvinas, the statement fell far short of an offer to submit the latter dispute to the Court at the same time as the dispute over the Antarctic territories.”  (Greig 1983)

May 11th, Argentina and Chile publicly reject Britain’s submission to the International Court.

July 12th, Lord Reading, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, submits a formal protest to the Argentine Government regarding their law of August 25th, 1954.

August 1st, Argentina’s Foreign Minister writes; ” .. The Argentine Government has several times had occasion to indicate in notes addressed to Her Britannic Majesty’s Embassy in Buenos Aries that it cannot consent to the question of sovereignty over the Antarctic Territories of Argentina which it is sought to raise being referred for decision to any International Court of Justice or Arbitration Tribunal. By this present note, my Government reaffirms its refusal in the most express way with regard to the jurisdiction of this Court and with regard to any possibility that it should be seised as such to deal with this case.”

Argentina elsewhere refers to a ‘.. fundamental principle in accordance with which territorial sovereignty cannot be submitted for discussion or put in issue ..’ and states that the matter is too ” .. self-evident to require judicial determination..”.

In September, in Argentina a military coup forces Juan Perón from power.

Hunting Aerosurveys are employed to delineate the boundaries between farms on the Islands.

October 6th, Carlos Alberto Cortine, Argentina’s representative at the Trusteeship Committee meeting at the UN, protests the transmission of information on the Falklands, by Britain, to the Committee.

1956 – March 16th, unable to proceed due to Argentina and Chile’s refusal to acknowledge the court’s jurisdiction, the ICJ removes the Antarctica case from its list.

Martiniano Leguizamon Pondal, in his book ‘Toponimía Criolla en las Islas Malvinas’, creates the legend of Antonio Rivero as a ‘revolutionary hero’ who resisted British rule in the Falklands in 1833.

HRH Prince Phillip tours the south Atlantic in HMY Brittania.

June 1st, in Buenos Aires, distribution of the United Nations magazine ‘World Communications’ is banned because it lists the Falkland Islands as a British possession.

Busen 8, another whale catcher owned by Tonsbergs Hvalfangeri, is scuttled off Stromness Bay.

1957 – January 7th, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrives at Stanley for an official visit.

Sir Edwin Porter Arrowsmith is Governor.

India proposes to the UN that it should judge the merits of the various Antarctic claims. Argentina protests.

1958 proposals to transfer the assets of the Compañia Argentina de Pesca, following its sale to the British based Albion Star, are vehemently opposed by Argentina.

March 10th, at an unpublicised meeting at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, the issue of co-operation in Antarctica is discussed between the representatives of the USA, New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain.

June 10th, a Convention on the Continental Shelf is agreed in Geneva; Article 2: 1. The coastal State exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources… Article 6: 1. Where the same continental shelf is adjacent to the territories of two or more States whose coasts are opposite each other, the boundary of the continental shelf appertaining to such States shall be determined by agreement between them. In the absence of agreement, and unless another boundary line is justified by special circumstances, the boundary is the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points of the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each State is measured.”

The Argentine representative had referred to the Convention on the Continental Shelf of 1958. … Far from justifying any claim to sovereignty over islands on the continental shelf by coastal States, the Convention made special mention of the fact that islands had their own continental shelf and indicated that coastal States had sovereign rights over the shelf only for the limited purpose of exploring it or exploiting its natural resources. The United Kingdom Government fully reserved its rights over the continental shelf adjacent to the Falkland Islands, and it would, of course, be willing to determine appropriate boundaries on the shelf between Argentina and the Islands, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.”

May 2nd, the USA invites eleven countries to a conference on Antarctica.

August 30th, Argentina voices is opposition to any internationalization of the Antarctic.

1959 – October 15th, the Washington Conference convenes to consider proposals for the future of the Antarctic region. Argentina, Chile and France are particularly sensitive to any suggestion of a dilution of their territorial claims.

Busen 10, a whale catcher owned by Tonsbergs Hvalfangeri, is scuttled off Stromness Bay.

Compañía Argentina de Pesca closes after selling Grytviken whaling station to Albion Star (South Georgia) Ltd.

December 1st, the Antarctic Treaty is signed, covering the area south of latitude 60°S and affecting the status of some Falkland Islands’ Dependencies.

The Treaty’s objectives are – ATS

  • to demilitarize Antarctica, to establish it as a zone free of nuclear tests and the disposal of radioactive waste, and to ensure that it is used for peaceful purposes only;
  • to promote international scientific cooperation in Antarctica;
  • to set aside disputes over territorial sovereignty.

Article 1 deals with the limitation on the presence of armed forces within the Antarctic region, and states –

  1. Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only. There shall be prohibited, inter alia, any measure of a military nature, such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the carrying out of military manoeuvres, as well as the testing of any type of weapon.
  2. The present Treaty shall not prevent the use of military personnel or equipment for scientific research or for any other peaceful purpose.

Article IV (2) deals with existing and future claims of sovereignty by stating, “No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force.”

[The Treaty has the effect of ‘freezing’ all existing sovereignty claims and prevents any more being made. This ‘freeze’ includes claims to the South Shetland Islands, the South Orkneys and Graham Land. Somecountries such as the USAand Russia, have ‘reserved’ their position, and may yet make a claim if the Treaty fails. In defiance of the Treaty, both Chile and Argentina have attempted to reinforce their claims by establishing settlements on the Antarctic peninsula.]

1960 – the documentary, ‘Islands of the Sea’, is filmed on the Falkland Islands, and subsequently nominated for an Academy Award.

In June Britain ratifies the Antarctic Treaty.

On September 23rd,  the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Nikita S. Khrushchev proposes a declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.

November 28th, 70 delegations discuss the USSR proposals within the UN’s First Committee.

[At this time, the UK had 29 NSGT’s under its administration – of which 14 had populations of less than 100,000.]

During the course of the discussion, the Soviet delegate states, with regard to a proposed paragraph on ‘territorial integrity’ that; “.. no attempt should be made to raise private claims and reservations to the level of a general principle restricting the inalienable right of every people to self-determination.”

December 14th, UN Resolution 1514 – entitled the Declaration of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, is passed.

“Conscious of the need for the creation of conditions of stability and well-being and peaceful and friendly relations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples, and of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, …

Affirming that peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law, …..

Convinced that all peoples have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the integrity of their national territory,

Declares that:

1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.

2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. [“.. all commentators on self-determination have pointed out that neither “people” nor “nation” has any generally accepted meaning that can be applied to the diverse world of political and social reality.” –  Self Determination Professor Rupert Emerson in The American Journal of International Law vol.65 No.3 1971]

5. Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.

6. Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

.. a retrospective analysis of the 1960 debate by the British Mission noted, “..This paragraph was not considered by most speakers to be a key paragraph; most emphasised 2 (right to self-determination), 3 (inadequacy of preparation should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence) and 5 (immediate steps should be taken to transfer all powers to the peoples of the territory)’. The allusion to territorial integrity had only appeared in the final draft partly as a result of the Congo civil war and the attempted secession of Katanga (which independent African states opposed) and partly due to Indonesia’s hostility to the Dutch presence in West Irian. However, when Guatemala tabled an amendment to include a categorical affirmation to the effect that ‘the principle of self-determination of peoples may in no case impair the right of territorial integrity of any state or its right to the recovery of territory’, the 43 Afro-Asian sponsors of the draft Declaration refused to endorse it…” (Gonzalez 2014)

The term ‘territorial integrity,’ as used in paragraph 6 of Resolution 1514 (XV), referred to the wholeness and indivisibility of territories which had been administered as a single unit … That had to be distinguished from the principle of geographic integrity, which applied to adjacent areas, or areas apparently forming part of a single geographical unit. The latter meaning had clearly never been intended in Resolution 1514 (XV), since that would have meant that almost any colonial Territory could have become subject to a claim by an immediate neighbour.” (Franck & Hoffman 1976)

December 15th, two Resolutions are passed by the General Assembly: Resolution 1515 recognises the right of States to dispose of their own natural resources, while Resolution 1541 states that; “… A Non-Self Governing Territory can be said to have reached a full measure of self-government by – (a) Emergence as a sovereign independent State; (b) Free association with an independent State; or (c) Integration with an independent State.”

1961 – March 14th, in Buenos Aires, following a speech by President Arturo Frondizi, the British Ambassador reminds the Argentine Government that the Falkland Islands Dependencies are British territory.

Southern Spray and Southern Chief, both redundant whale catchers, are scuttled off Stromness Bay.

March 31st, on Good Friday the last official Norwegian service is held in the church at Grytviken, South Georgia.

In June, both Argentina and Chile ratify the Antarctic Treaty.

On November 27th, UN Resolution 1654 (XVI)establishes a Special Committee of seventeen members with a mandate to make suggestions and recommendations on the progress and extent of the implementation of Resolution 1514, and to report to the General Assembly. Initial membership consists of Australia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Italy, Madagascar, Mali, Poland, Syria, Tanganyika, the USSR, the UK, the USA, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.

.. an international lobby for absolute independence regardless of the consequences..” (Fisher 1968)

Antarctic 21962 – March 3rd, in an administrative re-organisation, the British area subject to the Antarctic Treaty is separated from the Falklands Dependencies and renamed the British Antarctic Territory. A High Commissioneris appointed to oversee the Territory.

Chilean newspapers urge their Government to protest.

Enrique Ros is moved from New York to take over the Antarctica & Malvinas Division within Argentina’s Foreign Ministry, and is replaced at the UN by Lucio Garcia del Solar.

The population census reveals that the Falkland Islands has 2,172 people present on the day of the census.

December 14th, UN Resolution 1803 recognises a State’s permanent sovereignty over its own natural resources.

December 17th, UN Resolution 1810 (XVIII) enlarges the Special Committee to 24 members.

In terms of membership, the balance was now clearly tipped against the colonial powers, with the Afro-Asian bloc controlling half of the seats and four others reserved for Eastern European countries. Furthermore, the new committee’s competence included the examination of the political situation in each non-self governing territory and the making of recommendations for the early attainment of independence.” (Gonzalez 2014)

1963 – in January, redundant whale catchers Stora and Southern Star are scuttled off Cape Saunders.

October 12th, Arturo Illia becomes President of Argentina. At his first presidential address to Congress Illia refers to the Falklands; “We do not covet anything that is not ours, but nor can we cede anything we own. We have updated our claim to the malvinas. We are convinced of the legitimacy of our rights. Meanwhile we have taken the necessary precautions to ensure that the recovery of this Argentine territory is not frustrated by an artificial independence that we would never recognise.”

November 29th, the British Embassy in Buenos Aires raises its fears of Argentine aggression in a letter to the Colonial Office in London; “The islands are less than a day’s steaming from the nearest Argentine naval base at Ushuaia. It is a remote spot and they could quickly and unobtrusively prepare an offensive by a small body of men capable of overcoming resistance from the Islands’ population or Voluntary Defence Force; …it would be difficult or impossible to evict the intruders before they had consolidated their position.”

December 11th, at the UN, Security Council Resolution 183; “Reaffirms the interpretation of self-determination laid down in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)..”

December 16th, during discussions preceding UN Resolution 1966 (XVIII), the UK submits reservations concerning the principle of self-determination; “.. which at least had the virtue of recognizing that, in exceptional cases, the principle of self-determination might have to be considered in the light of other principles, such as that of the territorial integrity of States..”

1964the Chairman of the Special Committee proposes to set up three sub-Committees to consider the list of non-self-governing territories in an attempt to speed up the laborious process.

In the case of the Falklands, …, this apparently inconsequential bureaucratic reorganisation has a series of significant political effects, contributing to a structuring of the discussions in Argentina’s favour. To begin with, the reform led to Britain’s loss of full membership in the subcommittees… the Afro-Asian majority decided that administering powers could only be members of one subcommittee, while they would be invited to participate without a vote in the rest. … The lack of full membership did have two important negative effects on Britain’s position on Subcommittee III, where the Falklands came to be discussed: on a symbolic level, it put the Argentine delegate on an equal footing with that of the administering power; procedurally, it deprived the British delegate of the right to participate in the private caucuses that would be held to consider the conclusions and recommendations drafted by the subcommittee’s rapporteur… The committee’s subdivision also magnified the value of (Argentina’s) allies… The regional character of each subcommittee attracted the Latin American members to participate in Subcommittee III… Subcommittee III was thus composed of delegations whose profile made them less menacing for the Argentine position. “ (Gonzalez 2014)

February 26th, an internal Foreign Office letter considers the possibility that the subcommittee’s deliberations may result in an adverse conclusion; “If, in the face of our denial of the Argentine claim and our maintenance of the principle of self-determination for the Falklands, the Committee passes an unacceptable resolution favouring the Argentine, we shall simply ignore it, as we have done with other unacceptable resolutions, as an emanation from a non-competent body.”

In April, Argentine authorities discover a plan by the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario Tacuara, an extremist youth organisation, to invade the Falkland Islands. The plan is named Operacion Rivero.

April 2nd, in Stanley, the Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands’ Government approve a message to the British Government declaring their pride in being a British colony and expressing their desire to retain and strengthen their links to the UK.

In Argentina, President Arturo Illia’s Government circulates an instruction to schools, requiring that the subject of the Falklands is taught in an ‘anti-imperialistic’ way; “I have the pleasure … to remind you that next September 8, at the Meeting of the 24, the future of our Malvinas Islands shall be considered. The Representatives of the foreign powers, at that act, shall consider the problems inherent to colonialism and peoples’ self-determination and, in that agenda, the Malvinas Islands shall be included in the British colonies. The Argentine Republic can not and must not accept this decision because Malvinas Islands are a piece of its territory that was seized by force… .. it is very important – due to the psychological force of this action – to explain to the students of the educational institutions of the country the vicissitudes that the nation is experiencing, under the threat of the definite loss of a piece of its soil.”

At South Georgia, 3 whale catchers and four service boats sink at their moorings due to the weight of snow that has fallen. No attempt is made to raise them. Southern Foster is wrecked on Jason Island.

In June, Argentine fears are expressed in comments by a senior diplomat during a conversation with the British Ambassador to Buenos Aires; “ .. ‘things could be left to go on as they are’ but what was worrying Argentina was ‘ the feeling that you might be going to change the status quo by granting independence to the islands.’ “ (quoted in Gonzalez 2014)

June 10th, the Argentine Government establishes ‘Malvinas Day.’

On the same day, the Convention on the Continental Shelf, codifying international law, comes into force.

June 11th, a briefing note from the Colonial Office to the British Mission at the UN asks that the delegates; “ .. persuade the Sub-Committee and the Committee to recognise that it is for the people of the Falkland Islands to determine their constitutional future.”

In July, after Argentine lobbying, the question of the Falkland Islands is placed first of the items to be considered by Subcommittee III; “ .. ensuring that it was discussed before the second round of debates on Gibraltar at the main Committee. This immunised the Argentine case from any collateral damage arising from the re-examination of the controversial Spanish claim.” (Gonzalez 2014)

The territory on which our position in the Committee is weakest is the Falklands. There are only 2,000 people involved and we can hardly offer independence as the alternative to the Argentine claim. The Falklands have no petitioners who could appear effectively before the Committee of 24. No doubt because of this Uruguay and Venezuela brought it forward as the first territory to be discussed.” (Derx 1964)

In August, Argentina’s Government submits a draft law to Congress claiming rights over the continental shelf around the Falklands’ archipelago.

“It is .. absurd to claim that because islands stand on the continental shelf adjacent to a continental coastal state that state has thereby a claim to sovereignty over the islands. Then France could claim the UK. On the contrary, rights on the continental shelf accrue from the possession of sovereignty over territory with coast bordering the area of the continental shelf in question.”

August 19th, Cosmo Dugal Patrick Thomas Haskard is gazetted Governor.

In September, the merits of opening negotiations with Argentina are discussed within the Colonial and Foreign Offices; “The Mission .. feared that a persistent rejection of talks risked alienating the Western allies, most importantly the United States.”

Offers to enter into talks where there is no real hope of agreement seem to us more likely to end in exacerbating the position rather than calming it.” (Derx 1964)

September 8th, while the Special Committee (C24) are meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, an Argentine national, Miguel Fitzgerald, lands a Cessna light aircraft at Port Stanley, plants an Argentine flag in the ground, hands a proclamation to a confused bystander, and takes off again.

Prior to the aircraft’s arrival, the Buenos Aires radio station, Radio el Mundo, broadcasts a message to the islanders telling them to; .. keep calm during an imminent occupation by the Argentine Navy.”

The UK Embassy in Buenos Aires presents a formal protest note regarding Fitzgerald’s actions to the Argentine Government which publicly dissociate themselves from this incident. However, President Arturo Illia suspends any possibility of prosecution and the Senate rally to endorse, “. all initiatives aimed at bringing about the return of the Malvinas to the national territory.”

At the UN, Argentina’s delegation persuade the Guatemala mission not to introduce their claim to British Honduras in Subcommittee III; “.. we thereby avoided a debate in which the Mexican intervention in favour of the self-determination of the people of Belize would have clearly damaged Argentine efforts on the Malvinas.”

September 9th, Sub-Committee III commences its consideration of the Falkland Islands.

In the opinion of the United Kingdom’s delegation, the request by the Argentine representative to participate in the work of the Sub-Committee constituted an intervention in the affairs of the Territory, in which Argentina was not properly concerned. The claim advanced by the Argentine Government to sovereignty over the Falklands Islands was, in effect, a bid to annex those islands in defiance of the clearly expressed wishes and interests of the people of the Territory…. In the view of his Government, the Special Committee and therefore the Sub-Committee were not competent to discuss territorial claims…. It might be suggested, as it had been suggested in the past, that paragraph 6 of the Declaration in resolution 1514 (XV) constituted a mandate for the Committee to consider questions of sovereignty. But, in his delegation’s view, that interpretation was not borne out either by the wording of the paragraph itself, which clearly referred to possible attempts at disruption in the future and not to issues of sovereignty dating back to distant history, or by the remainder of the Declaration, which stated specifically that “all peoples have the right to self-determination. No fairminded observer could therefore construe paragraph 6 as imposing a limitation on the universal application of the principle of self-determination, which was guaranteed under the Charter itself.” (UN document)

Dr. José María Ruda, tells Sub-Committee III

    • that Spain discovered the archipelago
    • that England had admitted that it had no right in 1848
    • that it was clear from the 1771 document that England had accepted the sovereignty of SpainDr. Jose Maria Ruda
    • that when the British left in 1774, the lead plate only claimed one Island
    • that Port Egmont was destroyed in 1777, with the full knowledge of Britain
    • that the Nootka Sound agreement limited British rights in the South Seas
    • that the rights held by Spain had been succeeded to the Argentine Republic in 1810
    • that David Jewett applied Argentine fishing regulations to the Islands
    • that Buenos Aires appointed Don Pablo Areguati Governor in 1823
    • that the 1825 treaty had contained no reservation concerning the islands
    • that Vernet’s first expedition was ‘partially successful’
    • that the Lexington attacked Puerto Louis under a French flag
    • that Britain and America conspired together
    • that Britain expelled ‘almost all’ the Argentine settlers in 1833
    • that Argentina has protested continually since 1833
    • that Britain had taken South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands by force
    • that the Islanders’ are only a temporary population
    • that Britain’s possession violates Argentina’s ‘territorial integrity’

Dr. Ruda also asserts that Britain, having ‘abandoned’ the Islands in 1774, thereafter acknowledged both Spain’s and then, via inheritance, Argentina’s, sovereignty.

On the subject of self-determination, Ruda says; We consider that the principle of self-determination should not be implemented in situations in which part of the territory of an independent state has been separated against its inhabitants’ will, by force, by a third state, as was the case of Malvinas. No subsequent international agreement ratified this de facto situation; on the contrary, the offended state has constantly complained about this circumstance. These considerations are specially aggravated when the original population has been forcefully evacuated and replaced by floating groups of citizens from the occupying power. Besides, the indiscriminate implementation of the principle of self-determination to territories so scarcely populated by citizens of the colonialist power would leave the fate of such territory in the hands of a power which has settled there by force, violating the most basic rules of law and the international morals. The fundamental principle of self-determination must not be used to transform an illegitimate possession into a full sovereignty, under the protection of the United Nations.”

In reply the British Representative states that; The Argentine representative had suggested that the status of the Falkland Islands as a British colony was an anachronism; the Sub-Committee might consider whether it was the United Kingdom Government’s clearly stated policy of allowing the Falkland Islanders to choose their constitutional future or the Argentine Government’s desire to annex a small Territory against the wishes of its inhabitants that was more in keeping with modern thought. … The people of the Islands were not temporary settlers; 8% of the resident population in 1962 had been born in the Islands, and many of them could trace their roots there for more than a century. .. his delegation found nothing in the Charter or in the Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries or peoples to suggest that the principle of self determination should not be applied to communities of British descent…

Thus, after a one-hour-long historical and juridical exposition of Argentine rights by Ruda … King merely retorted with the classic affirmation that Her Majesty’s Government had no doubt about its sovereignty over the islands. ‘This attitude’, later lamented King, ‘had the effect of encouraging the impression that we had reason to fear the strength of the Argentine arguments.” (Gonzalez 2014)

US delegate, Adlai Stevenson, states that the issue of sovereignty is not a matter for the UN.

September 10th, deliberations continue at the UN; “In his opening speech on 10 September, Velazquez himself admitted that the Decolonization Committee was not entitled to judge on the merits of a territorial claim or to decide on a sovereignty dispute. However, the committee’s lack of authority to settle a territorial conflict was one thing; its right to examine each and every aspect of a colonial situation, … was quite another.”

September 12th, demonstrators stone the British Embassy Residency in Buenos Aires.

September 14th, Sub-committee III reconvenes. Iran emphasises the small size of the Falklands’ population and its geographical location; Bulgaria speaks of 133 years of “imperialistic control” and Venezuela openly supports Argentina’s claim.

September 16th, Cecil King secures permission to explain the British title to Subcommittee III in more detail.

.. but his … intervention came too late: by then, all delegations had dealt extensively with the dispute, thereby highlighting its importance.” (Gonzalez 2014)

September 17th, Uruguayan Chairman of Sub-committee III, Carlos Velazquez, invites the members to a private consideration to which neither the British representative, King, or Ruda are invited; “.. the Chairman’s intention was to ensure, through this procedure, the drafting of recommendations as favourable as possible to Argentine objectives, and to obtain unanimous agreement on a text prior to its presentation in the following day’s official session.”

The strategy worked. In the reduced conclave Velazquez was able to impose his authority and make some adjustments to the rapporteur’s draft that benefited Argentina. However, the chairman did not achieve everything he and his Argentine allies had aimed for. Rather, the negotiation took the form of a delicate compromise between the Uruguayan-Venezuelan emboldened defence of the Argentine case and the mitigated but not completely dispelled Afro-Asian concerns about the principle of self-determination, … The text proposed by Iran and eventually adopted by the subcommittee consisted of three conclusions and two recommendations.

The first conclusion merely stated that the subcommittee had examined the situation in the territory. When it came to name the latter, the Latin Americans managed to add the phrase ‘otherwise known as Malvinas islands’ to the original draft’s use of the traditional ‘Falkland Islands’ denomination, thereby buttressing the petition that Argentina was separately making to the General Secretariat to obtain the recognition of the Spanish nomenclature. In its second conclusion, the subcommittee confirmed the applicability of Resolution 1514, thus asserting its competence vis-a-vis this colony.

Velazquez attempted at this point to include a specific reference to paragraph 6 of the resolution so as to highlight the prominence of the principle of territorial integrity in this particular colonial situation, but he withdrew the suggestion when most of the other members made it clear that is paragraph 6 was mentioned, the text would also need to cite paragraph 2 on self-determination. In its third conclusion the subcommittee ‘took note of the existence of a dispute between the Government of the United Kingdom and Argentina on the sovereignty of the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands’.

Here Uruguay and Venezuela, this time backed by Italy, were more successful in overriding the concerns of the Afro-Asian delegations, which preferred to dilute the text’s wording by substituting ‘question’ or ‘situation’ for ‘sovereignty.’ … ” (Gonzalez 2014)

September 18th, Sub-committee III ends its consideration of the Falkland Islands.

September 21st, Ambassador King attempts to explain to the Foreign Office in London why the Islanders’ wish to remain British is treated with suspicion at the UN; “ .. a situation of this kind, which challenges the basic assumption of Resolution 1514 that all colonial peoples are struggling to get rid of the yoke, is bound to be irritating to anti-colonialists; and the irritation can only be increased when the Administering power invokes the principle of self-determination, thus assuming the unpopular role of the Devil quoting scripture to further its ends.”

September 29th, in London, the Joint Intelligence Committee reviews the defence situation at the Falklands in light of Fitzgerald’s illegal landing, and Colonial Office concerns.

In October, a Foreign Office legal adviser, Arthur Watts, prepares a counter-argument to the points presented by Dr. Ruda to Sub-committee III.

The Colonial Office, however, repeatedly vetoed its publication, fearing that the paper’s arguments were not cast-iron, that Argentine diplomats would be quick to spot any weaknesses and that Watts’ emphasis on the continuous and unperturbed nature of British occupation seemed to imply ‘that if only the Argentine protests were supported by action we might then start paying more attention to them.’ … Only after heavy pressure did the Colonial Office belatedly agree to the use of Watt’s memo, but only as a defensive recourse rather than as the proactive response to Ruda’s 1964 allegations …”  (Gonzalez 2014)

October 15th, following a General Election, the British Labour party form the UK’s Government. Lord Caradon is appointed to the UN.

October 17th, for political reasons, Buenos Aires cancels a joint naval exercise due to take place with the Royal Navy. One of the British squadron’s ships however, continues to the Falklands and takes up a patrol.

October 30th, the British mission to the UN expresses its fears to London with regard to Argentina’s successes in the subcommittee; “The Argentines are in a stronger position than Spain. They are not a Colonial power and the Communists will not be rocked by fears of favouring a Fascist State; they have had some success in getting across the idea that the Falkland islanders are temporary white settlers, a fiction which appeals to the Afro-Asians; and the Chileans will try to avoid coming out against their fellow Latin Americans.”

1965November 5th, HMS Protector arrives off Stanley with the 10 members of the Combined Services Expedition, who are going to South Georgia.

November 13th, at the UN, the Special Committee, sitting as a whole rather than in subcommittees, hears from the UK’s representative, who tells it that; “.. His Government considered that the Special Committee was not empowered by its terms of reference to consider territorial claims or disputes over sovereignty, and it would therefore not consider itself as bound by any recommendations of the Committee on those subjects. The United Kingdom had no doubts about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. Where the future of the islands was concerned, his Government would be guided by what it regarded as the interests of the Falkland Islanders themselves, as required by Article 73 of the Charter. … it was clear from the petitions submitted to the Committee that they wished to retain and strengthen their link with the United Kingdom and that any constitutional association with a foreign Power would be repugnant to them. … He wished to make a formal reservation concerning the use of the phrase “otherwise known as the Malvinas Islands” …, which his Government interpreted as indicating purely the Spanish translation of the name of a Territory, and thus as having no implications with regard to the question of sovereignty over the Territory…”

During these proceedings, the Special Committee; “.. confirms that the provisions of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples apply to the Territory of the Falkland Islands.”

Chile’s delegation, having previously challenged the Committee’s competence to discuss sovereignty disputes, now openly supports Argentina by endorsing Sub-committee III‘s report. The speaker endorses ‘hemispheric solidarity’ and complains that the ‘occupation’ of American territories is frustrating regional integration.

In December, Grytviken whaling station finally closes.

December 21st, in a Colonial Office minute, Edward Jerrom suggests; “We should now offer to have talks of some sort with the Argentine… Our general position would be that we were prepared to talk about “the problem” to Argentina but were not prepared to talk to Spain..”

1965 – January 1st, a Royal Marine detachment consisting of 30 men, remain at Stanley when HMS Protector leaves to patrol the area. The Governor uses the vessel to visit the Dependencies; and in particular to inspect Deception and Laurie Islands.

Britain’s Defence Chief of Staffs review Falklands security and decide to make the 30 man platoon permanent; albeit to be reviewed each year. Governor Haskard asks the British Embassy in Buenos Aires to publicise the presence of the troops.

January 6th, Argentina’s Commission for the Recovery of the Falkland Islands demands that the; “Argentine flag should fly everywhere in Puerto Soledad, the island’s capital.”

January 18th, in a letter, Cecil King states that; “.. the assertion that the wishes of the people of a disputed territory should not be ‘the sole and absolute arbiter’ may be construed by some UN members as representing a retreat from our present position.”

[There appears to have been an ongoing debate within both the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office as to the best line to take at the UN. While self-determination was obviously the best way forward for some of the peoples under British administration, for others, such as those in Hong Kong or Fiji – where the indigenous population was outnumbered by an immigrant Indian people – this concept seemed less applicable. The British Government had to try to find its way through this maze. ]

March 4th, HMS Protector retrieves the expedition from South Georgia.

The Immigration Ordinance 1965 prohibits entry to the Falkland Islands by any person, other than a permanent resident, without a permit. A ‘permanent resident’ is defined as a person born in the Islands, or a person who has been ordinarily resident there for at least 7 years, or the dependent of any such person, or a person naturalised locally.

April 9th, Britain’s Mission at the UN give their opinion with regard to a suggestion of negotiations; “.. we should have a much better chance of securing UN endorsement if we had first attempted a negotiated settlement with the claimants.”

July 6th, an internal memorandum provides a Foreign Office opinion; “ .. there may in certain circumstances be both material and moral advantage in coercing the few in order to gratify the many. We may have other reasons for opposing the Argentine claim to the Falkland Islands in addition to the reluctance of the Falkland Islanders to be governed from Buenos Aires. But if it is our only motive, we should perhaps calculate hoe much it would cost us to bribe all 3,000 Falkland Islanders to emigrate to New Zealand (or to accept Argentine sovereignty on the basis of special local guarantees and privileges) as against what it would cost in military expenditure and the loss of economic interests if we were to have a really serious quarrel with the Argentine.”

September 21st, at the UN, the Argentine Government invites Britain to enter into negotiations on the question of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

October 7th, John Bennett of the Colonial Office notes; “The Falklands are out on a limb … The JIC have estimated that there is a risk of a sort of seaborne Jamieson raid against the colony by Argentine extremist organisations which the Argentine Government might not be able, or not wish, to disown if they were once able to effect a lodgement ashore in some isolated spot. We might then find ourselves faced with the choice of military operations or talks about the future of the Colony in an international climate even less propitious than today. The Falklands changed hands several times in the later 18th and early 19th centuries as a result of coups de main on the spot. .. I have attempted, I fear with only mediocre success, to arouse interest in defence circles in the importance of providing an adequate deterrent.. “

October 26th, 10 soldiers of the Argentine Army, led by Colonel Jorge Leal, make an illegal crossing of Antarctica to reach the South Pole, codenamed Operation 90.

[Military operations are banned under the Antarctic Treaty.]

November 1st, the British Government inform Buenos Aires that the Dependencies are not part of the Falkland Islands; and not within the UN’s remit.

In November 1964, after the main Committee of 24 session, the Argentine Mission advised Buenos Aires to pursue the transformation of the committee’s report into a General Assembly resolution.”  (Gonzalez 2014)

At the UN, before the Fourth Committee;The representative of Argentina said that the Malvinas, which had formed a natural part of the Spanish colonial establishments, had come under the dominion of Argentina in 1810 but had been occupied by the United Kingdom in 1833. The Malvinas should be decolonized, in accordance with the Assembly’s resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960… The only course of action, he stated, was to return them to Argentina, in compliance with the provisions of that resolution which affirmed the right of all peoples to the integrity of their national territory. … If the United Kingdom agreed to discuss the problem with a sincere desire to find a solution, there could be no difficulty in finding a formula which would guarantee the rights and aspirations of the inhabitants of the territory.”

The UK responds, saying that Britain; “ … did not accept the arguments of the representative of Argentina, and stated that his government had no doubts as to its sovereignty over the territory. The question of disrupting Argentina’s territorial integrity therefore did not arise. The important issue was the interests and wishes of the inhabitants, who were genuine, permanent inhabitants having no other home but the islands, and who did not wish to sever their connections with the United Kingdom. No provision of the Assembly’s resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 could be interpreted as denying the principle of self-determination to the inhabitants of territories which were the subject of a territorial claim by another country. He informed the Fourth Committee that his Government had replied to the Argentine Government, declaring its willingness to enter into discussions with the Argentine Government, and asking that topics for such discussions should be suggested,…”

November 2nd, Garcia del Solar asks ambassadors from Latin America to sponsor a draft-Resolution. Ten express a willingness to do so without condition; others seek changes to the wording proposed by Argentina.

[For example Peru’s representative was unconvinced about the phrase “Recognising the existence of a dispute ..” preferring a less specific “Noting.”]

Brazil and Mexico decline but eventually 15 ambassadors agree to sponsor the draft.

November 4th, in a note to Buenos Aires, the British Government accept the September 21st offer of talks. However, while being prepared to discuss ways in which the dispute could be resolved without harming Anglo-Argentine relations, the issue of sovereignty must be excluded.

What Argentina needed was a General Assembly resolution that would in itself constitute a response to the British note by demonstrating both that the Argentine claim was universally recognised and that Argentina’s rights rather than the islanders’ were the paramount factor in decolonizing the archipelago. In the struggle for that resolution, Buenos Aires’ most important asset was the “hate Britain year. As Caradon had feared, the 20th General Assembly marked the zenith of anti-British sentiment ..” (Gonzalez 2014)

November 9th, the UN standing body on decolonization, the Fourth Committee, commences is consideration of the Special Committee reports on the Falkland Islands.

While there was a core group of Malvinas enthusiasts who, in some cases, went as far as arguing in favour of Argentine sovereignty over the islands, most delegations simply endorsed the call for negotiations, without passing judgment on the parties merits or the specific outcome to be expected from the talks. In fact, a number of them felt the need to make their neutral stance clear by explaining their vote. Moreover, there was a third group – the Western bloc – that remained overwhelmingly skeptical towards the Argentine initiative. Even Italy, under strong British pressure, came close to defecting, triggering a major Argentine operation that succeeded in prolonging Rome’s support.” (Gonzalez 2014)

During the discussions Australia contests the Fourth Committee’s competence to address a sovereignty issue.

November 15th, Venezuela formally presents the draft of a Resolution to the Committee.

Liberia’s representative denounces the draft for its lack of any mention of the Falkland Islanders.

November 18th, put to a vote, theFourth Committee adopts a draft-Resolution calling upon Argentina and the UK to commence negotiations.

The Fourth Committee also decrees that the name to be used in all UN documentation is ‘Falkland Islands (Malvinas)’ in all languages except Spanish, when the name is to be ‘Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands).’

In addition, where a reference to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) may raise or bear upon the question of sovereignty over the Territory, it should be accompanied, as the case requires, either by the standard disclaimer … or by a note or footnote as follows: “A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).”

December 16th, at the UN, on a vote of 94 for, none against and 14 abstentions, the General Assembly approve a Resolution on the Falkland Islands; “ .. By this text, the Assembly, considering that the Assembly’s resolution 1514(XV) was prompted by the aim of ending colonialism everywhere in all its forms, “one of which covers the case of the Falkland Islands,” noted the existence of a dispute …”

UN Resolution 2065 –

The General Assembly,

Having examined the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas),

Taking the chapters of the reports of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples relating to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), and in particular the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Committee with reference to that Territory,

Considering that its resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 was prompted by the cherished aim of bringing to an end everywhere colonialism in all its forms, one of which covers the case of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas),

Noting the existence of a dispute between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the said Islands,

1.  Invites the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to proceed without delay with the negotiations recommended by the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the problem, bearing in mind the provisions and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations and of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and the interests of the population of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas);

2. Requests the two Governments to report to the Special Committee and to the General Assembly at its twenty-first session on the results of the negotiations.”

Resolution 2065 makes no reference to South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, or any of the other British territories in the south Atlantic.

We have undertaken a careful examination of the resolutions in question. They refer only to the Falkland Islands and do not explicitly mention the Dependencies.  Moreover, the list of non-self-governing territories compiled by General Assembly Committees in 1946 and subsequently in 1964 referred exclusively to the “Falkland Islands.”  However, the report on the Falkland Islands by the Special Committee on Decolonisation which was referred to in the 1965 General Assembly resolution included factual data concerning both the Falkland Islands and the Dependencies, and references were made in the Special Committee’s debates on both.  But the “conclusions and recommendations” section of the Committee’s report did not refer to the Dependencies explicitly …”

Although for the first time Argentina obtained international recognition of the existence of the dispute and succeeded in tying the Falkland’s decolonization to that dispute’s resolution, there was no UN acknowledgment of Argentine sovereignty or open acceptance of the superiority of territorial integrity over self-determination as guiding principles for the settlement of this conflict. Moreover, the committee’s proceedings exposed the fragility of Argentina’s position…” (Gonzalez 2014)

On the same day, Resolution 2070 invites the Governments of the UK and Spain to negotiate the decolonization of Gibraltar.

December 20th, at the UN, Resolution 2105 (XX) is adopted by the General Assembly; “ … Noting with deep regret that five years after the adoption of the Declaration many Territories are still under colonial domination, …. 8. Requests the Special Committee to pay particular attention to the small Territories and to recommend to the General Assembly the most appropriate ways, as well as the steps to be taken, to enable the populations of those Territories to exercise fully their right to self-determination and independence; 9. Requests the Special Committee, whenever it considers it appropriate, to recommend a deadline for the accession to independence of each Territory in accordance with the wishes of the people; 10. Recognises the legitimacy of the struggle by the peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to self-determination and independence  … “

December 30th, Foreign Office under-secretary John Rennie reiterates that, in the course of any negotiations, discussions of sovereignty cannot be permitted; “ … apart from weakening our position in the Falkland islands Dependencies and the British Antarctic Territory, it would inevitably lead to an increase of pressure against British Honduras and British Guiana, and to the stiffening of the Spanish attitude towards Gibraltar. It could also be embarrassing to us further afield, e.g. in Aden. Indeed, its is impossible to say where the chain reaction would stop.”

Written by Junius

October 21, 2013 at 12:10 am

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