§ 65. Mr. WRIGHT
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Messrs. Pearson and Sons have been appointed sole agents for the Government to prospect and bore for oil in the United Kingdom; and if he will lay upon the Table of the House the agreement under which the appointment has been made?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of MUNITIONS (Mr. Kellaway)
I have been asked to take this question. Messrs. Pearson have been appointed managers on behalf of the Government to prospect and bore for oil in certain areas in Great Britain. They have not been appointed sole agents for the United Kingdom. The agreement with Messrs. Pearson was laid on the Table on the 25th instant.
§ Mr. G. LAMBERT
Is it not the fact that Messrs. Pearson have placed their whole staff and experience gratuitously at the disposal of the Government?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
Yes; and in my view and knowledge Messrs. Pearson have done loyal service to the State.
§ Mr. WRIGHT
May I ask whether the effect of the agreement is not to give Messrs. Pearson a monopoly and place at their disposal £1,000,000 of the taxpayers' money without fear of loss to themselves?
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
Can the hon. Gentleman say when the agreement will be available for Members, and whether what purported to be a summary of it which appeared in one of the Sunday papers was substantially accurate?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
I cannot say as to the summary, for I have not seen it, but the Paper was laid on the Table on the 21st instant.