HC Deb 21 February 1963 vol 672 cc617-8
10. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what request he has received from the Government of Ceylon for the assistance of Her Majesty's Government in resolving their dispute with the United States Government arising out of the nationalisation of the property of two American oil companies; and what reply he has made.

Mr. Tilney

None, Sir. The second part of the Question therefore does not arise.

Mr. Warbey

Will the hon. Gentleman offer assistance to the Government of Ceylon? Is he aware that the United States Government are demanding 100 per cent. compensation for Esso and Caltex, the American oil companies involved, and in the meantime they cut off the whole of American aid to Ceylon? Are the Government content to see a member of the British Commonwealth treated like Cuba?

Mr. Tilney

We would, of course, be prepared to consider any approach made to us. The action of the United States Government is in no way concerned with the negotiations at present in progress between the Shell Oil Company and the Ceylon Government over compensation for the sequestration of Shell property. The British Government have at various times made clear to the Ceylon Government the importance they attach to the Shell Oil Company receiving prompt, adequate and effective compensation.

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