HC Deb 08 April 1959 vol 603 cc175-6
17. Mr. Healey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he has taken to restore diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

We have made it clear on a number of occasions that Her Majesty's Government would welcome the restoration of the traditional friendly relations with Saudi Arabia. Our views on this matter have been conveyed to the Saudi Government in numerous exchanges through various channels over the past two years.

Mr. Healey

Does not the Foreign Secretary agree that it is really absurd that Britain at this time has no diplomatic relations with any of the three large Arab countries in the Middle East. Is it true that the Government are allowing support for a very doubtful position on the Buraimi oasis to obstruct agreement with Saudi Arabia on the restoration of diplomatic relations?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not agree that the position on the Buraimi oasis is doubtful, nor do I think it very helpful of the hon. Member to say so.

Mr. Gaitskell

Why will not the Saudi Arabian Government resume diplomatic relations with us?

Mr. Lloyd

Because they make preconditions which we are not prepared to accept.

Mr. Gaitskell

What were the preconditions?

Mr. Lloyd

With regard to the Buraimi oasis, the pre-condition was that there should be a resumption of arbitration proceedings, and the right hon. Gentleman knows full well what happened in those proceedings.

Forward to