HC Deb 12 November 1928 vol 222 cc474-5
21. Colonel HOWARD-BURY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether during the last three months there have been any changes in the position with regard to the Dead Sea Salts Concession?


Yes, Sir. I have been in correspondence with the Palestine Government throughout the period mentioned and have received within the last few weeks a report from them giving their views on all the points of detail that were still outstanding. This report is now under my consideration and I hope very shortly to coma to a final decision in regard to the application which, as I have informed the House on numerous occasions, was accepted in principle some time back.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

Does that mean that there is no chance of a British firm having an opportunity of working this concession?


Oh, no, it does not mean that. First of all, we have to settle the actual details. Until they are settled the application is not final. I am not sure that I would accept the view that the applicants in this case are not to a substantial extent British.


Does the right hon. Gentleman consider the concession of very great value?


No, Sir; the concession is purely speculative. It may be of value, or it may not. It consists of a great deal of potassium chloride in the Dead Sea.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it will be of great value, as the price of potash is very high, and this is the only means of bringing it down?


May one take it that the recent change in the directorate of the Imperial Chemical Industries, Limited, will not cause any change in the Government's policy in this matter?


Yes, Sir.

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