§ 5. Sir E. CORNWALL
asked what steps have been taken by the Admiralty in connection with the authority given by Parliament in the year 1914 for the use of £2,000,000 sterling for the development of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company's properties; and what advantages have accrued to this country financially and in the obtaining of an oil supply?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The Admiralty is represented on the board of directors of the company, and is satisfied that, in spite of interruption caused by the War, and the difficulty of obtaining the necessary plant, good progress has been made in the work of development. It has, of course, been inevitable that operations have been much hampered, but even in normal circumstances it would hardly be expected that capital spent in the development of oil properties would yield a return in less than two years. As my hon. Friend is aware, the company has not yet paid a dividend on its ordinary shares. He will probably concur that this would be too much to hope for in the circumstances. But a large quantity of oil fuel has been supplied for the Navy. Nothing has occurred to impair confidence in the productivity of the field.