Would the honourable gentleman say when the details will be announced? The withdrawal of C.-in-C. Has it been announced in Parliament by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on a subsidiary issue, but we still do not know the terms of the new agreement. The United Kingdom Government announced the Agreement on 16 June 1975. Royal Navy ships continued to arrive regularly at Simon`s Town and other South African ports, but the Royal Navy could not call at South African ports during the Falklands War. Conservative politicians have often protested against the discourse of denouncing the agreement and have said it is an important link in Western maritime strategy. They accused the lab government of ending the contract just to appease its left wing. The last possible alternative to the government`s action to renegotiate the Simonstown agreement is that it is the precursor to a total withdrawal of our forces from eastern Suez. This would be welcomed by some honourable and right-wing Members. I accept that there is a reason to gradually withdraw from Aden and perhaps Singapore in due course, but the worst possible path is the one the government has taken in Aden, for example.
I propose that it be essential for us to keep maritime bases in the southern hemisphere and that they be located in areas supported by an industrial complex from which our amphibious sea air forces could operate. We could then control communications in the Indian Ocean at minimal cost. From this point of view, the Simonstown agreement is of paramount importance to us. I hope that a similar agreement will be reached with the Australian Government so that our British naval and air forces can be deployed, for example, in Fremantle. James Callaghan, the Secretary of State, simply said that the pact ended today with an exchange of letters. But officials made it clear that the political embarrassment of the deal that allowed Britain to use a base in Simonstown far outweighed all military advantages. The Simonstown Agreement (sic) was a naval cooperation agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the (then officially) Union of South Africa, signed on 30 June 1955. 65 years ago (30.06.1955). As part of the deal, the Royal Navy (RN) abandoned its naval base in Simon`s Town, South Africa, and transferred command of the South African Navy (SAN) to the South African government. Britain would create a small representative division under a commodore at Youngsfield, south of Cape Town, while it withdrew its last frigate of the Royal Navy, permanently stationed in the town of Simon. Both countries agreed that the head of the South African Navy should take on more responsibility for Cape Town in wartime.
One of the most important changes concerned british access to Simon`s Town. According to Rear Admiral du Toit, ”a reservation was made that required mutual agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and South Africa before the facilities were used in a war without South Africa.” LONDON, June 16 – The British government today ended a 20-year-old agreement on Britain`s use of a naval base in South Africa to politically protest racial policy in that country. . . .