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Oil Concessions

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 23 May 1922

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31.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any explorations or drilling for oils is proceeding in Iraq, and with what result; what companies or persons are engaged in this work; whether any oil concessions have actually been granted; and, if so, to whom?

For answers to the first and second parts of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which was given him on 9th May. As to the third and fourth parts of the question, no concession in respect of oil in Iraq have been granted since the British occupation. The Turkish Petroleum Company claim to have certain rights granted to them by the Turkish Government before the War in respect of all oil deposits (other than those in the transferred territories) in the Bagdad and Mosul vilayets.

Is this not a very unsatisfactory explanation, in view of the fact that were told there were rich oil deposits that would pay us our expenditure, and should not something be done?