HC Deb 21 March 1951 vol 485 cc2407-8
30. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has had from the Government of Persia regarding the nationalisation of Anglo-Persian oil wells and refineries.

31. Mr. Somerset de Chair

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has received from the Persian Government to the representations made in Teheran by our Ambassador on the proposal now before the Majlis to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

32. Mr. M. Philips Price

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action, in view, of the resolution on the nationalisation of all oil concessions in Persia by the Majlis, he proposes to take to safeguard the rights of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

Mr. H. Morrison

No representation has been received from the Government of Persia regarding the "nationalisation" of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company's wells and refineries, and they have not yet replied to the Note presented to them by His Majesty's Ambassador on 14th March.

The various forms of action that could, if need arose, be taken to protect the Company's position are of course under consideration, but I do not think it would be in the public interest to make any further statement at the present time.

Mr. de Chair

Would the right hon. Gentleman warn the Persian Government that the experience of nationalisation in this country has been so disastrous that they would be very unwise to follow it in that country, quite apart from the fact that they would have no more right to nationalise a foreign company than we should have to nationalise the Standard Oil Company's refinery at Fawley?

Mr. Morrison

I have no doubt that the somewhat propagandist supplementary question of the hon. Gentleman will receive the attention of the Persian Government.

Mr. Price

Will my right hon. Friend give us an assurance that he will not allow a valuable undertaking of great international importance to go up in smoke because of an emotional landslide in Teheran?

Mr. Morrison

My own feelings about the matter are much as indicated by my hon. Friend.

Mr. Gammans

Can the Foreign Secretary assure the House that His Majesty's Government are in close consultation with the Governments of the United States and all the countries who are interested in the supply of oil from this part of the world?

Mr. Morrison

The House may take it that we are in contact with the interests concerned in the matter. I am taking the matter very seriously indeed.

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