31. Miss RATHBONE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent the shares held by His Majesty's Government in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company have increased in value during the past year; and what rate of dividend has been declared by the company upon these shares during the past 12 months and during the preceding 12 months?
The £1 ordinary shares of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company were quoted on 29th March, 1935, at 213/32 and on 31st March, 1936, at 417/32. His Majesty's Government owns 7,500,000 of these shares. During the past 12 months the company has declared a dividend of 12½ per cent. for the year 1934 and an interim dividend of 5 per cent. in respect of 1935. In 193–5 a dividend of 7 per cent. was declared for the year 1933.
§ Mr. J. GRIFFITHS
Cannot some of the money be utilised for pushing forward schemes for extracting oil from our own home-produced coal?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that this is a very excellent illustration for State ownership?
§ Mr. MATHERS
Would it not be well for the right hon. Gentleman to urge, through his power as a shareholder in this company, the desirability of increasing the equipment in the shale fields which the company owns?