§ Mr. Mudd
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied with the rate of progress of the Saudi Arabian authorities in arranging for the release of eight British nationals employed on the Arabian Elder site and who have been detained for eight months without any charge being brought against them; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hurd
During the investigation into the death of a British employee the company's foreign staff, including nine United Kingdom nationals, were not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia. Our embassy has made representations to the Saudi authorities about the delay. Four Britons have already left and I expect our continuing action on behalf of the remainder to lead to early permission to leave for the four who seek it. Only one Briton was detained in custody; he was released after five weeks.