HC Deb 07 December 1983 vol 50 c176W
49. Sir John Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will ensure that measures are being concerted with friendly powers to meet any threat to oil supplies and the Straits of Hormuz arising from the war between Iraq and Iran; and what efforts are being made to limit or end those hostilities.

Mr. Luce

We are constantly in touch with friendly states on a wide variety of issues, including recent developments in the Gulf. We attach importance to the freedom of navigation in the Gulf, including passage through the Straits of Hormuz. We hope both participants in the war will continue to show restraint and observe the terms of United Nations Security Council resolution 540.

52. Mr. Burt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to safeguard British interests, including the protection of British shipping, and the continuation of oil supplies in the event of the closure of the Straits of Hormuz.

Mr. Luce

The implications for British interests of developments in the war between Iran and Iraq are kept under constant review. We are in regular contact with the General Council of British Shipping and shipping companies with particular interests in the area. We continue to maintain a patrol of two warships available, if needed, to come to the assistance of British shipping in the Gulf.

We are committed members of the International Energy Agency. In the event of a significant shortfall in supplies to IEA countries, we should continue to look to collective action by IEA members, including, where appropriate, the implementation of the emergency oil sharing scheme, supplemented by the use of reserve stocks.

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