41. Mr. Robertson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about his consideration of the possibility of the British reflagging of Kuwaiti tankers in the Persian gulf.
§ Mr. Mellor
In present circumstances any developments in the Gulf are likely to have political implications and we have been carefully monitoring the registration of merchant shipping.
Under current British regulations the entering of a vessel on the United Kingdom register is a matter of meeting certain well-known criteria and does not require a decision by the Government. We have informed the Kuwaitis of the limitations to the operating area of the Armilla patrol and to the assistance which British flag vessels may expect from it.