House of Commons Hansard; column 1222W, Questions to the Rt. Hon. Jack Straw, UK Foreign Secretary, 21.06.2004
Mr. Straw : “The United States authorities have repeatedly assured us that no detainees have at any time passed in transit through Diego Garcia or its territorial waters or have disembarked there and that the allegations to that effect are totally without foundation. The Government are satisfied that their assurances are correct.
House of Commons Hansard 26 Oct 2006 : Column 2067W
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the agreement covering the United States use of facilities at Diego Garcia allows the US to hold and interrogate non-US and non-UK nationals without notification to the UK Government. 
Dr. Howells: Under the 1966 Exchange of Notes between the US and UK, non-US and non-UK nationals who are not serving members of the US military cannot be detained without notification to the Government.
Moreover, there is no US facility for foreign detainees on Diego Garcia. The only civilian detention centre is at the small UK-run police station.
The US authorities have repeatedly given us assurances that no detainees, prisoners of war or any other persons in this category are being held on Diego Garcia, or have at any time passed in transit through Diego Garcia or its territorial waters or airspace. This was most recently confirmed during the 2006 US/UK Political Military Talks held in London on 17 and 18 October.
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees
involving Council of Europe member states: second report
Rapporteur: Mr Dick Marty, Switzerland, ALDE Thursday 7 June 2007
Page 13 iv. The evolution of specific “black sites” in the HVD programme
Para 70. There are two more specific locations to be considered as “black sites” and about which we have received information sufficiently serious to demand further investigation; we are however not in a position to carry out adequate analysis in order to reach definitive conclusions in this report. First we have received concurring confirmations that United States agencies have used the island territory of Diego Garcia, which is the international legal responsibility of the United Kingdom, in the “processing” of high-value detainees. It is true that the UK Government has readily accepted “assurances” from US authorities to the contrary, without ever independently or transparently inquiring into the allegations itself, or accounting to the public in a sufficiently thorough manner.
Second we have been told that Thailand hosted the first CIA “black site,” and that Abu Zubaydah was held there after his capture in 2002. CIA sources indicated to us that Thailand was used because of the ready availability of the network of local knowledge and bilateral relationships that dated back to the Vietnam War.
Investigative journalist and author of "Ghost Plane" showed that the CIA operated Gulfstream N379P flew from Washington via Athens to the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia, the logs show. It is the first time that the British-owned territory, where the US has a large airbase, has been linked to the controversial CIA flights.
All this relates to the dispossessed Chagossians who were evicted from their native lands by a Labour Government 40 years ago led by Jim Callaghan (although stitched up previously between Harold Wislon and Pres. Johnson) involving a deal over the so called "Chevalining" of the Polaris missiles which he concealed from his party. Lord Chalfont another unelected Minister in a Labour Government was the architect of this squalid deal.
The 1966 Exchange of Notes between the UK and the US provides that the islands of the british O)cean territories including Diego Garcia shall be available to meet the defence needs of both Governments for an initial period of 50 years, i.e. until 2016, and continuing thereafter for a further period of 20 years unless terminated by either Government at the end of the initial period"
After decades of legal action the Chagossians finally received the right of return recently :-
Liberal peer Lord Avebury said “The highlight of my week was attending the Court of Appeal to hear the judgment handed down in the case of the Chagossians. The Court declared that the two Orders in Council which evicted the Islanders forty years ago were unlawful (and constituted an abuse of power on the part of the executive government) and refused the government leave to appeal to the House of Lords.”
However, strangely, the government can still petition the House of Lords direct for leave to appeal. Lord Avebury has tabled two questions to the Lords, one asking if the government intended to do this and the other asking “Her Majesty’s government whether they will take measures to facilitate the return of the Chagos islanders and to create a trust fund to help revive the economy of the Chagos Islands.” on the 4th June he was answered by ;
Lord Triesman (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office) (another un-elected Minister)
The Foreign Secretary (then la Beckett) will consider the 23 May judgment of the Court of Appeal carefully and has in this regard asked officials for further advice. The Foreign Secretary reserves the right to petition the House of Lords to grant permission to appeal, as she is entitled to do within one month. The Government's policy in relation to the British Ocean Territory therefore remains the subject of possible ongoing legal proceedings and it would be inappropriate to comment further.
Jeremy Corbyn MP spoke in the House of Commons on Wednesday 7th July 2007 ( all of which is essential reading to understand the history of this case - and probably the best true debate held un der this NU labour shower) during which he asked
" ....and that we have a right to know exactly what is happening on Diego Garcia, which is, under the terms of the colonial order, sovereign british teritory. Are there any prisoners on Diego Garcia? Is it being used for the sort of vortex of American justice such as occurs in Guantanamo Bay ? I am assured that it is not. I want to hear that assurance again today and it would be much better if there were an independent inspection of what is going on."
Alex Salmond, King of Scotland, joined in the debate to add ..
"Every Foreign Office Minister, up to and including current Ministers, and every Foreign Office staffer who has been involved in the story over the past 40 years should hang their heads in shame at what has been done to these defenceless people."
he also added that ..
"The Washington Post, for example, claims that prisoners are held on Diego Garcia for "rendering" before being transferred to Camp X -Ray (Guantanamo) ".
Tan Dalyell contributed and reminded everyone that George Brown when Foreign Secretary (and b riefly sober) had quoted Woodrow Wilson in 1918 at the Paris conference..
"Peoples and Provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were chattels or pawns in a game".
But he was referring to the Falkland islanders at the time added Tam.
Tam he also reminded the House of Robin Cook and his ethical policy who had when faced with the 2000 Court of Appeal decision that the Chagossians could return said ..
"I have decided to accept the Court's ruling and the Government will not be appealing.
The work we are doing on the feasibility of resettlement of Ilois now takes on a new importance. We started feasibility work a year ago and are now well under way with phase two of the study."
Cook went walking in Scotland and died a premature and unexpected death. There are a few who believe his resignation over the Iraq war and attitude to the occupation of Diego Garcia precipitated his murder.
Bill Rammell, a loathsome, overweight and under educated toady acting as Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office in answer to the debate would give no answers or categorical assurances and said ..
"Due to the fact that settlement is not feasible, the Government decided after long and careful consideration—that was genuinely the case—to legislate to prevent it. Equally, however, legislation to restore full immigration control over the entire territory is also necessary, and I do not absolve ourselves from responsibility for this so as to ensure and maintain the availability and effective use of the territory for defence purposes for which it was constituted and set aside in accordance with the UK's treaty obligations entered into almost 40 years ago."
After a change of Government and Foreign Secrtary, the UK Government / Foreign Office on Monday 25th June 2007 asked the House of Lords for permission to appeal against last month's High Court judgement saying the Chagossians should be allowed to return.