Defiance over new war zone, Argentina ‘will fight anywhere’
Argentina’s Foreign Ministry has said the British decision to extend its exclusion zone to within 12 miles of the mainland means that it now covers virtually the whole South Atlantic.
It described the move as an escalation of hostilities and denounced what it called ‘an absence of good faith on the part of Britain’.
Defence Minister (Mr Amadeo Frugoli) has denounced the extension of the zone as ‘an act of intransigence’.
And a Foreign Ministry source claimed Britain would need at least three fleets to back the zone up.
Running out of patience with Argentina, the British Government extended the 200-mile, no-go zone to 12 miles from the Falklands invader’s coastline, warning: ‘Keep your warships at home or risk the consequences.’
Any of the junta’s warships or military aircraft found more than 12 miles from the Argentinian coast will be regarded as hostile and ‘liable to be dealt with accordingly.’
The move, announced after a meeting of Mrs Thatcher’s ‘War Cabinet’, was greeted with defiance by Argentina.
It protested to the UN, accused Britain of an ‘act of intransigence’, and the Defence Minister said Argentina would fight wherever and whenever required.
Meanwhile, Britain is preparing to increase its air power in the South Atlantic to prevent a repeat of the disaster which befell the destroyer HMS Sheffield.
The new blockade of Argentinian air and naval bases is seen as a bid to bottle up the junta’s lethal air power without resorting to bombing its mainland runways.
Sea wolf ready to go
The Royal Navy looks set to send more destroyers and frigates to the Falklands armed with Britain’s revolutionary Sea Wolf anti-missile weapon.
The task force has two Sea Wolf equipped destroyers, Brilliant and Broadsword, which are protecting the Fleet’s most important assets, the two carriers.
The other type 22 destroyers have Sea Wolf, as have two Leander class frigates which have been refitted with the weapon.
Plans to refit Sea Wolf into some frigates were cancelled by Defence Secretary (Mr. John Nott) in the 1981 Navy cuts.
Wives in financial trouble
Task force wives who are facing financial hardship while their husbands are away, are calling on Gosport MP Mr Peter Viggers to intervene between the Royal Navy Pay Office and their banks, it was revealed today.
Most of the money problems seem to stem from the abolition of weekly allotment payments to the wives.
One victim of the money mix-up is Mrs. Sue Brackley whose husband is aboard HMS Invincible.
‘I have a separate bank account and my housekeeping money has not been paid into it. The Navy Welfare Office says the banks have not sorted it out properly. The banks blame it on the Falkland Islands crisis and the Pay Office’
History told in flowers
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth (Mr Frank Sorrell) reckons he knows a winner - and he feels the latest event in aid of his appeal is blooming good.
Mr Sorrell today opened the two-day exhibition which tells the history of Portsmouth in flowers, and could net his Enable the Disabled appeal a further £1,000.
About 40 craft stalls and flower clubs make their contribution to the fund, in the last major event activity during Mr Sorrell’s year in office.
The exhibition, which continues at Portsmouth Guildhall tomorrow, gives a brief history of the city from 1194 to the destruction of the Guildhall during World War II.