HC Deb 21 March 1984 vol 56 cc1036-7
6. Mr. Campbell-Savours

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil servants in his Department have visited Oman since January 1981.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

Our middle east department records indicate that at least 187 civil servants from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have visited Oman since January 1981. This figure includes 146 duty visits to the British eastern relay station at Masirah.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

With regard to two particular civil servants, Mr. Michael Alexander, the overseas secretary at Downing street to the Prime Minister, and Mr. Ivor Lucas, an ambassador in the middle east, is it true that either of those two gentlemen advised the Prime Minister not to raise at the palace in Salalah the question of the contract to build a hospital in Oman whilst it was known to the Omani authorities that Mark Thatcher, the Prime Minister's son, acting as a consultant, through Monteagle Marketing, to Messrs Cementation International Ltd. was in Salalah at the same time?

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The question would be relevant only if the Prime Minister had, in fact, raised any such question in the context that the hon. Gentleman suggests. That is not the case.

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