Falklands : Falklands: The Hon Mr Roger Edwards' Motion for Adjournment Speech
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 21.12.2011 (Article Archived on 04.01.2012)
This leads me on to the second item of interest – Argentina. Two colleagues have mentioned this morning the on-going problems with Uruguay and Argentina’s myths, lies and their altered history is having an affect over a wider and wider area and across the world.
The Hon Mr Roger Edwards:
Mr Speaker, Honourable Colleagues, I will be somewhat shorter than the colleague sitting to my left. I, too, would like to offer my congratulations to both Ian and Barry on their election to the Assembly and I look forward to working with them both. I have worked with Ian before and I know that he is a great friend of the Falklands and a supporter of the Falklands.
This leads me on to the second item of interest – Argentina. Two colleagues have mentioned this morning the on-going problems with Uruguay and Argentina’s myths, lies and their altered history is having an affect over a wider and wider area and across the world. We know we have full support and commitment by the British Government and I have never heard such strong support as the speech by the Foreign Secretary at the Conservative Party Conference that we attended earlier this year.
We, with the help of the Foreign Office, are trying to combat this somewhat by undertaking visits and meetings abroad. My colleague, Mike Summers and I recently attended three Islands in the Caribbean and I personally think those meetings went very well. I think it was a little early to expect an immediate change of policy by those Islands but I do believe that if we continue with those visits and continually pushing the Falklands First attitude, our right to self-determination, people and countries will recognise that we are in the right.
Despite all the problems with Argentina I do believe that the Islands have, at the moment, a particular confidence, as has already been mentioned. We know where are going with oil as there have been some very sound prospects that might or might not become commercial in the future. But we know where we are going. We have seen some surpluses although I would hesitate to commit those too soon because we know the investments that we have – the investment market at the moment with the troubles in Europe and the world down-turn and possibly a second period of recession, our investments can go down as well as up. But I look forward to discussing all those matters in the New Year.
We have confidence in the Agricultural Department. We still have continued high wool prices, high meat prices and last year we had very good lambing percentages and this year the Abattoir is looking for a thru-put of some 53,000 animals. So the trend is in the right direction and continuing upwards.
With that confidence, however, comes costs. And anyone who goes around the shops in Stanley looking at the costs of fruit and vegetables realises they are ridiculously high. I was looking yesterday at various vegetables that are over £6.00 a kilo, which leads me on to the next item – import substitution. We purposely set aside a sum of some £250,000.00 for the budget last year to help people establish market gardens or what have you so that we could be more self-sufficient in growing our own. Sadly, the take-up was poor to say the least. I think much of that was because of the constraints that we put on that money and how it was going to be dished out and it did not make it attractive. And again I look forward in the New Year to looking again at the import substitution to make the whole funding arrangement more amenable and user-friendly and hope that we can look forward to a much greater take-up in the future. The take-up previously was nil.
Time change: We had a poll recently and I must admit the report that came out of that was very good. But the numbers in the poll were very good and there were some hollows as to whether it was businesses or individuals, whether they were contract workers, whether they were Islanders and so on and so on. The debate is still open and if people feel strongly please get in touch. We hope to continue with the poll and get further reports in the future. But certainly, at the moment, with those low numbers polled, it does look kike remaining on Falklands’ summertime is a very popular idea.
I’ve got to mention the single constituency because I sat with my radio interview on the 2nd of November the day before the constituency vote. I was for a single constituency and I must admit I was well and truly knocked down and put in my box. However, I do believe that I was vindicated when only one person stood for Camp. And that’s nothing to do with you, Ian. I congratulate you but you did stand unopposed. That cannot be good for the future and come November 13, one wonders whether or not there will be three members who will actually put themselves forward.
We recently had a visit by the Royal Marine Band and I personally hope to see more of the Royal Marine Band. And I have spoken to the Commander British Forces and I know the director of the band has also spoken and I hope that it can become an annual event. I hope so because by golly, they were good; they were enjoyed by everybody. They really lifted morale across the Camp and Stanley.
At this stage I would like to say thank-you to the Commander British Forces. A lot of the support and commitment we get from the UK is shown in our loyal servicemen at Mount Pleasant, who are there because of us. They are there to protect us and provide that deterrent that is needed from a neighbour that we have. But at this time of the year – Christmas – I would like to say thank-you and I hope he will pass on my thanks to all those people and their families at this particular time of year when they are absent overseas.
I can’t end without mentioning Camp Radio. About 16 months ago the Chief Executive and I stood in the Hall at Fox Bay and said (or I said) we would have it in place within 12 months. Nothing happened so I asked a question in this August past and was assured that it would probably be up and running very early in the new calendar year 2012. Now I just remind my colleague that it is very nearly 2012 and we’ve seen no action that I am aware of as yet so please can we chase it up?
And finally I would like to wish everybody in the Falklands a very happy Christmas and a very happy and prosperous 2012.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.
(100X Transcription Service)