HC Deb 03 July 1913 vol 54 cc2176-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make any statement with regard to the date when the Crown lands of Trinidad, which have been locked up awaiting oil developments, will be again brought into use for agriculture where suitable?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr Harcourt)

I would refer my hon. Friend to Schedule C to the prospecting licence printed in Command Paper 6861, from which he will observe that special arrangements have been made to facilitate the disposal of Crown lands for agricultural purposes.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is now able to inform the House by what means he or the Governor of Trinidad propose to check the appointment of directors by the British West Indies Petroleum Syndicate, Limited, under the terms of their secret agreement, for the purpose of the provision which lays down the conditions as to the nationality of the chairman and a majority of the directors in companies holding oil agreements?


In reply to a question on 30th June, I stated the effect of the clause of the proposed lease dealing with the British character of any company that may hold it, and mentioned the precautions usually taken on the subject. If, and when, application is made for a lease, the clause in question will be strictly enforced, but it does not appear desirable to discuss by way of question and answer what steps might be necessary in future contingencies which may never arise.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in regard to the agreement which he is en-deavouring to arrange with a corporation wishing to take out oil licences in Trinidad on similar terms to the agreement recently concluded with the United British West Indies Petroleum Syndicate, Limited, he will take the opinion of the Trinidad Legislative Council on the matter before he finally closes the negotiations; and can he make any statement as to the amount of land involved in this new agreement?


The negotiations have been carried on subject to the final approval of the Governor of Trinidad, but it is not proposed to refer the agreement to the Legislative Council. The proposed lease will contain a provision that the total area to be held under it shall not exceed 100,000 acres, but it is not proposed to put any limit to the area over which exploring or prospecting rights may be acquired.