HC Deb 06 August 1919 vol 119 cc341-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state what amount the Government invested in the Anglo-Persian oilfield; and what is the market value of that investment today?


The amount invested by His Majesty's Government was as follows:

Ordinary shares £2,000,000
Participating preference shares £1,000
Debenture stock £199,000
It is not possible to give any accurate estimate of the present value of the investment, as there is no Stock Exchange quotation for the ordinary shares. It is, however, undeniable that their value has considerably appreciated and cannot be measured merely by the dividend at present paid on them.

Commander BELLAIRS

Is this matter still under the direction of the First Lord of the Admiralty, considering it is a purely financial venture belonging to the-British Government, and ought it not to be under the Treasury, and have representations been addressed to the Prime Minister to that effect?


The hon. Gentleman's question appears to me to be a matter of opinion. It is under the control of the directors of the company concerned, to which the Board of Admiralty only send one representative, and, so far as I know, the suggestion that it is under the direction of the First Lord has no foundation.