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Wednesday, 28 April 1971

Senator MULVIHILL asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

What form of government have the inhabitants of Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - The Minister for Foreign Affairs has furnished the following reply:

The British Indian Ocean Territory (of which the island of Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago is part) was established by a British OrderinCouncil on 8th November 1965, which provided for the appointment of a Commissioner who is responsible for the administration of the Territory and who resides at Port Victoria in the Seychelles. Before that date the islands in the Chagos Archipelago were administered by the Government of Mauritius. The law in force prior to 8th November 1965 remains in force except where it has been modified by laws made under British OrdersinCouncil.

The islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory are all owned by the British Crown and there is no resident population on any of them. The inhabitants are transients who consist mainly of labourers employed on contract.

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