HC Deb 06 June 1951 vol 488 c988
10. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the strategic importance of the area, he will approach the Israeli Government with a view to calling a meeting of those concerned to consider the establishment at Haifa of a free, international port, including the oil refineries.

Mr. H. Morrison

The future of the port of Haifa is for the Government of Israel to determine. In any case the benefits to be derived from the establishment of a free port at Haifa would seem to depend on conditions of trade which do not at present exist. His Majesty's Government do not therefore consider that an approach of the nature suggested would be expedient at the present time.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Has the Foreign Secretary any alternative suggestion for getting this badly needed oil production back into operation, and, if so, will he disclose it to the House?

An Hon. Member

What would you do, chum?

Mr. Boothby

Before approaching the Government of Israel, will the right hon. Gentleman approach the Government of Egypt in order to secure the passage through the Suez Canal of our tankers carrying oil for the refineries on their lawful occasions and in accordance with Treaty rights?

Mr. Morrison

That has been done, and our efforts in that direction will be continued.

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