Oil Products.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons am ar 7 Mai 1923.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Mr. DOYLE:

35.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government is aware that the British company purchasing Russian oil products had given an undertaking to an international oil committee, set up for the mutual protection of interests, not to prejudice, directly or indirectly, the established rights of adherents to the committee; and whether the action in purchasing Russian oil products does in fact prejudice these rights?

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

I have no information on the subject of this question beyond what has appeared in the newspapers. It would be no part of the duty of the Foreign Office to interpret the text of a private agreement between a number of oil companies, but if the published accounts of the transaction are accurate, the effect would seem necessarily to be as suggested by my hon. Friend.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Philip Richardson Lieut-Colonel Sir Philip Richardson , Chertsey

39.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is prepared to take action with the purchasers of Russian oil products to bring about the cancellation of the agreements for sale on the score that such purchases are contrary to public interest?

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

It would be contrary to the practice of His Majesty's Government to interfere, in a case such as this appears to be, with the discretion of the companies concerned.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Is it in order to address questions to the British Government about a private committee in Paris?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I could not see any reason for disallowing them, although they come near to being of a private nature.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Philip Richardson Lieut-Colonel Sir Philip Richardson , Chertsey

40.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether representations have been made to His Majesty's Government by the French Government protesting against the purchase of Russian oil products by a British company?

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

The reply is in the negative.

Photo of Captain Clifford Erskine-Bolst Captain Clifford Erskine-Bolst , Hackney South

41.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can communicate the terms of the resolution for mutual protection arrived at between the members of the International Russian Oil Committee, whose property in Russia has been appropriated by the Soviet Government; and what steps have been taken to secure the payment of compensation to British citizens who have been deprived of their property in this way?

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

The resolution referred to has never been communicated to the Foreign Office. In reply to the last part of the question, I refer the hon. and gallant Member to the published accounts of the Conferences at Genoa and The Hague.