HC Deb 08 November 1954 vol 532 cc845-6
17. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has received from the Saudi Arabian Government in reply to his protest against their oil shipment agreement with Mr. Onassis.

Sir Anthony Eden

The Saudi Arabian Government replied that the agreement was not a breach of any international agreement to which Saudi Arabia was a party, and that the matter was purely within the domestic jurisdiction of Saudi Arabia. Her Majesty's Government have left the Saudi Arabian Government in no doubt of their disapproval of this agreement. They still believe that the Saudi Arabian Government would be ill-advised to put it into effect. This view has been recently reiterated to the Saudi Arabian authorities.

Mr. Hoy

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what other countries have made protests to Saudi Arabia about this agreement? Have any joint protests been made along with ours?

Sir A. Eden

I can say that other countries are closely affected by this matter. Indeed, the United States is likely to be the country most seriously affected. We know that the company which extracts the oil is American-owned. But all the maritime Powers stand to lose by this arrangement, and I should like to give a considered reply.