HC Deb 11 August 1919 vol 119 cc895-6W

asked the Prime Minister whether the policy of the Government in regard to nationalisation or control of mines will also be applied to oilfields; and whether, in the interest of the country, he will consider the desirability of withholding licences to develop oil areas until the Government has decided upon its policy, so that, in the event of the Government proposing to nationalise oilfields, it may not be opposed by a vested interest?


As regards the first part of the question, the matter is now under consideration, and, pending a decision, it is the policy of the Government to withhold licences to develop oil areas. I may add that until the Government has come to a decision as to the ownership of petroleum in the British Isles, the purchasers of land and petroleum rights are warned not to. assume that the ownership of petroleum is vested in the owner of the surface rights.