HC Deb 05 May 1920 vol 128 c2066
54. Captain W. BENN

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether equal facilities are, and have been, accorded to all nationals who desire to investigate the resources, including oil, and establish trade in the territories for which a British mandate has been accepted.


The territories which will eventually come under a British mandate, in accordance with the decision of the Peace Conference, are at the present moment in military occupation, and consequently no facilities such as are described have been accorded to anyone. Moreover, the terms of the mandates allocated under the proposed Treaty of Peace with Turkey have not yet been decided upon so that the question does not arise.

Captain BENN

Can my right hon. Friend say, in reference to oil, that no facilities have been given to British commercial representatives in preference to those of other countries to investigate resources?


I cannot say off-hand that no investigations have taken place.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May we take it that the principle of the open door with regard to the development of natural resources will be followed by us in any mandatory terms we are invited to accept?


May we take it that preference will be given to British subjects in reference to these matters?


The mandate, as the hon. Members know, has to be submitted to the League of Nations. As regards the general question, I can say nothing more than I have said.