§ 10. Mr. P. Williams
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a further statement with regard to the reopening of discussions on the oil situation with the Persian Government.
§ 20. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a further statement in respect of progress made toward a settlement of the outstanding dispute with the Government of Iran.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
As the House is aware, Her Majesty's Government and the Persian Government announced in a joint communiqué on 5th December their agreement to resume diplomatic relations and to exchange ambassadors without delay. I will circulate a copy of the communiqué in the Official Report. Her Majesty's Government are taking speedy steps to implement that welcome agreement.
The House will also see from the communiquéthat the two Governments have agreed to proceed to negotiate a settlement of the oil dispute. Her Majesty's Government are confident that both parties will enter into these further discussions with good will, and hope that it will now be possible to settle the dispute which has interfered with the traditional friendship between Persia and Great Britain.
§ Mr. Williams
While thanking my right hon. and learned Friend wholeheartedly for the statement he has just made, may I ask him to clear up the point of compensation, and also to say what developments are being considered in relation to Persian assets presently held in the Bank of England?
§ Mr. Sorensen
Can I take it that the principle of the nationalisation of the oil by the Persian Government will remain true, whatever other difficulties remain to be solved?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I think the position was made quite clear by the Foreign Secretary, and is made quite clear in the communiqué, that the Government are confident that a settlement can be reached which will safeguard British interests and take account of the national aspirations of Persia regarding her natural resources.
Following is the communiqué:Her Majesty's Government and the Persian Government have now decided to resume diplomatic relations and to exchange ambassadors without delay. They will thereafter proceed at the earliest mutually agreed moment to negotiate a settlement of the oil dispute which has recently clouded relations between them and thus to complete the restoration of their traditional friendship. They are confident that, with good will, a solution can be reached which will take account of the national aspirations of the Persian people regarding the natural resources of their country and which, on the basis of justice and equity, will safeguard the honour and interests of both parties.Thus it is hoped that a real contribution will have been made to the welfare of the two peoples and to the cause of peace and international co-operation.