Icelandic and British ministers failed to reach agreement on interim arrangements for continued British fishing in Icelandic waters after a two-day session of talks ended in London on Thursday (25 May).
MV Reporter with Icelandic Foreign Minister
MV Icelandic Foreign Minister interviewed (SOUND ON FILM)
GV Icelandic patrol boat Thor (left) and Maria Julia from deck of British trawler Northern Foam
LV PAN British gunboat PAN Icelandic patrol boats
SCU British officer
LV Boarding party from British naval ship heading for Northern Foam
SV PAN British navy crew lined up for action
LV Northern Foam with Thor in background
MV British officer talks to Icelandic patrol boat
LV Icelandic gunboat Maria Julia
REPORTER WITH FOREIGN MINISTER: FOREIGN MINISTER INTERVIEWED: ICELANDIC PATROL BOATS AND BRITISH TRAWLER IN 1958; BRITISH BOARDING PARTY HEAD FOR TRAWLER: BRITISH OFFICER TALKS TO ICELANDIC PATROL BOAT THROUGH LOUD-HAILER; ICELANDIC GUNBOAT.
REPORTER: "Foreign Minister, it seems you're not getting very far in your talks with the British."
AGUSTSSON: "Well, I think maybe not very far, but I think we have made a little progress during the last two days. In any case, we are going to meet again and that says something in my mind."
REPORTER: "What progress have you made?"
AGUSTSSON: "Well we have made clear each other's standpoints and we still think that there is a possibility of reaching an agreement."
REPORTER: "If that doesn't' happen, will there be a renewal of the 'Cod War' of the Fifties?"
AGUSTSSON: "I don't think so really. I think the 'Cod War' of 1058 to '60 is the horror that everybody is trying to avoid really."
Initials OS/129 OS/140
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Icelandic and British ministers failed to reach agreement on interim arrangements for continued British fishing in Icelandic waters after a two-day session of talks ended in London on Thursday (25 May). Icelandic Foreign Minister Einar Agustsson later told a B.B.C. reporter that there was a possibility for an agreement in future.
The need for an agreement has arisen because Iceland, which depends upon fish fir her economy, intends extending her fishery limits from 12 miles (about 19 kms) to 50 miles (about 80 kms) on September 1. Britain says such action would be illegal and has referred the case to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Meanwhile, Britain is seeking an interim agreement so that British trawlers will be able to go on fishing up to the 12-mile limit -- although a compromise limiting the catch has been offered by Britain.
Both sides seem to be trying to avoid a repetition of the "Cod War" of the late Fifties in which British trawlers were stopped and bearded by Icelandic patrol boats after Iceland had extended her limits to 12 miles. There were a number of confrontations between armed British and Icelandic ships.
The incident in this film, taken from the Visnews Library, shows such a confrontation in which a British trawler was stopped and boarded by two Icelandic patrol boats. The trawler was finally allowed to ??? free after intervention by a British Fisheries Protection vessel.
SYNOPSIS: Icelandic Foreign Minister Einar Agustsson spoke on Thursday after London talks on extended Icelandic waters ended.
The "Cod War" occurred when Iceland extended her fishery limits to 12 miles. A number of confrontations between armed Icelandic and British ships, such as this, took place between 1958 and 1960 when British trawlers fished inside the 12 miles. Now, Iceland, whose economy depends on fish, wants to extend her limits from 12 to 50 miles from the first of September, but the talks which finished on Thursday ended without agreement. Britain says it would be illegal and has referred it to the International Court of Justice. Meanwhile, she's seeking an interim agreement so that British trawlers can still fish up to the 12-mile limit.