HC Deb 07 November 1955 vol 545 cc1462-3
15. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what extra cost was incurred by Her Majesty's Government as a result of the delay caused in the hearing of Britain's dispute with Saudi Arabia over the Buraimi Oasis by the absence of the Pakistani member of the tribunal at Geneva.

Mr. Turton

The cost of maintaining the United Kingdom delegation at Geneva for the six days until Dr. Hasan arrived was £510. The extra cost in allowances of the members of the tribunal, payable by Her Majesty's Government, was £226 16s. 6d. The legal expenses incurred by the delay cannot yet be calculated.

Wing Commander Bullus

Can my right hon. Friend say whether we have any redress in cases such as this?

Mr. Turton

A very full statement on this matter was made on 4th October, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a statement in the House on 26th October.

52. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has any further statement to make on the situation at Buraimi.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Since the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the Sultan of Muscat reasserted their rights in the Buraimi Oasis on 26th October, the situation there has been completely quiet and normal.

As the Prime Minister informed the House on that day, Her Majesty's Government reached the conclusion that the actions and conduct of the Saudi Arabian Government amounted to a repudiation of the Arbitration Agreement. This conclusion was based partly on the widespread corruption and bribery which had taken place amongst the inhabitants of the disputed area and had clearly rendered any genuine expression of their wishes impossible, and partly upon the attitude of the Saudi Government towards the Tribunal itself.

I should tell the House that our position has been fully justified by the evidence obtained as a result of the re-entry of the forces of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the Sultan of Muscat into Buraimi. In the first place, a large sum of money was found in the possession of the Saudi Police detachment there, far in excess of anything that could have been required for the maintenance of this small post. This sum of money is being returned to the Saudi Government. Secondly, many documents came into our possession which gave ample confirmation of the charges we have made.

Mr. Grimond

As it is apparent that on this matter we have a cast-iron case and that we are at last, I am glad to say, standing up for our friends in that part of the world, will the Minister ensure that we counter any propaganda directed to misrepresenting our position, which no doubt will be put out by various people in the Middle East?

Mr. Macmillan

Yes, Sir, we will do all we can, and I am grateful for the support which I know we can get from all sides of the House.

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