HC Deb 15 April 1948 vol 449 c1150
25. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the number of representations that have been made to His Majesty's Government by British and British owned oil companies in Roumania; and what assistance has been afforded to these companies to ensure that these British assets are not expropriated without proper compensation.

Mr. Gaitskell

A considerable number of requests for assistance have been received from the British companies with oil interests in Roumania. As many of these representations have been made verbally, the exact number cannot be given. Whenever a request for assistance has justified action on the part of His Majesty's Government appropriate representations have been made to the Roumanian Government and there have been fifteen such cases during the last year, of which eight referred to the protection of British oil assets. We have stated to the Roumanian Government that we reserve our right to demand full compensation.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

May I ask the Minister whether, in addition to reserving our full right, the answer he has given can be construed to mean that the Government will ensure that these companies cannot be expropriated as they are being by the Roumanian Government and that we will get adequate and fair compensation for our assets?

Mr. Gaitskell

I can only answer for what the Government will do. I cannot answer for what the Roumanian Government will do.