§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they recognise as having the force of law the licences issued by the United States Department of Commerce to various consortia for prospecting on the seabed of the Pacific Ocean, beyond zones of national jurisdiction as generally defined and accepted in international law, and whether any British firms are involved, and if so which.
§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Young)
We regard licences for exploration of the deep seabed issued by the United States as lawful and respect them in accordance with agreements between the two countries. One of the United States licences has been issued in favour of the Kennecott Consortium, in which British Petroleum, Consolidated Goldfields and Rio Tinto Zinc have an interest through subsidiaries.