§ 9. Mr. W. Yates
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for what reasons Her Majesty's Government have refused the offer of the Royal Saudi Arabian Government to submit the Buraimi dispute to the United Nations or the International Court at The Hague, bearing in mind that no oil has been found in the area.
§ Mr. R. Allan
My hon. Friend is, presumably, referring to the Saudi Arabian suggestions for a resumption of the arbitration procedure which broke down as a result of the actions of the Saudi Arabian Government in 1955. Although Her Majesty's Government are anxious to see an early settlement of this dispute and are, in fact, engaged at the present 1054 time in informal discussions with the Saudi Arabian authorities to this end, they do not favour a return to the arbitration procedure for the reasons which were explained to the House on 26th October, 1955.
§ Mr. Yates
Will the Minister kindly tell us how long it will take the Government to put this arbitration before either the United Nations or The Hague? Is this not a case of Naboth's vineyard? Would he also bear in mind that many hon. Members on this side of the House, and many people in my constituency, hope that in future the Foreign Secretary will answer our questions at this Dispatch Box?
§ Mr. Healey
Could the hon. Gentleman answer the original question, which was whether the Government are considering submitting this dispute to the International Court—not to the previous arbitration procedure?
§ Mr. Healey
Is it not the case that Her Majesty's Government are responsible for the foreign affairs of these two States?
Are the Government aware that there will be a general response on this side of the House to the last part of the supplementary question put by my hon. Friend the Member for the Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates)?