§ Mr. Stonehouse
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consult the Governments of the countries with direct interests in the Indian Ocean, including Mauritius, the Maldives, India, Bangladesh and Australia, with a view to establishing a strategy for the exploitation of ocean bed mineral resources for the benefit of the inhabitants of the region and with particular reference to the United Kingdom responsibilities for the Indian Ocean Territory.
§ Mr. Ennals
Under international law the coastal States, in the Indian Ocean as elsewhere, have sovereign rights for the exploitation of the resources of their continental shelves out to the edge of the continental margin. The establishment of an international regime for the exploitation of seabed resources beyond national jurisdiction is one of the aims of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which resumes in New York in 1976.