§ Mr. NEWBOULD
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) the amount of money subscribed by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and/or its subsidiaries to the National Oil Refineries at Skewen, Swansea; when it is likely that the construction of this establishment will be completed; what further sums of money are likely to be required before it may be expected to operate on a profitable basis;
(2) whether the Government representatives were consulted in connection with and, if so, approved of the purchase of £30,000 worth of £1 shares in a Midland colliery experimental concern; and what is the market value of such shares to-day?
§ Sir R. HORNE
I will answer these Questions together, as they both relate to matters connected with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, with whose commercial policy the Government has no right to interfere. I am informed that the capital of National Oil Refiners, Limited, is £200,000 fully subscribed by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, that the Refinery commenced to operate in July of last year, and that it has since been operating on a profitable basis. The market value of the shares in the company referred to in the next part of the258W question is unknown. I am informed that the Anglo-Persian Oil Company sold their shares last year, and have now no interest in the concern.
§ Mr. NEWBOULD
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if any of the moneys subscribed by the Government or the public to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company have been invested in speculative enterprises other than the purpose for which such money was subscribed and, if so, the nature and number of such enterprises and the amounts, respectively, invested therein; whether such investments were made with the approval of the Government representatives on the board of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company; whether either or both of the Government representatives attend the regular meetings of the management committee of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company when such matters are discussed; whether the Government representatives on the Anglo-Persian Oil Company hold seats on the boards of subsidiary or allied companies financed with the funds of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company; and if such subsidiary or allied companies invest their funds in outside and speculative enterprises with or without the approval of such Government representatives?
§ Sir R. HORNE
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative, and therefore the second part does not arise. The answer to the third part is in the negative. The answer to the fourth is in the affirmative, except in the case of a few subsidiary companies to which it was not considered advisable to nominate Government directors, but the general operations of all subsidiary companies are reported to the board by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The reply to the fifth part of the question is that the subsidiary companies do not invest money in any speculative enterprises other than those inherent to an oil business.