HC Deb 04 December 1956 vol 561 cc1040-1
37. Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about his permission to allow British Petroleum Limited to take a controlling interest in British-Controlled Oilfields Limited, and about his refusal to allow an earlier similar move by the Colorado Oil and Gas Corporation, Denver, Colorado, United States of America.

Mr. Walker-Smith

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend's consent to the offer by the British Petroleum Company for the shares of the Trinidad Petroleum Development Company was neither sought nor required. As to the offer by the Colorado Oil and Gas Corporation, I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer given to the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Dodds) on 1st November.

Mr. Mallalieu

Is it not the fact that at the time of the Trinidad oil sell-out the Chancellor informed the House that B.P. and the Government were not interested in taking over that concern? Has anything by any chance happened internationally to bring home to the Government the stupidity of allowing the Trinidad oil resources to pass out of Commonwealth control? Must we have another Suez crisis in order to bring this lesson home to them?

Mr. Walker-Smith

The hon. and learned Gentleman is directing his supplementary question to the question of the Trinidad Oil Company, where the considerations are fully set out in Cmd. 9790, and have been debated in this House. His present Question relates to a quite different set of circumstances.