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Burma (British Investments)

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what advice he proposes to issue to British companies proposing to invest money in Burma in view of the decision of the Burmese Industrial Court under which the Burmah Oil Company is prevented from dismissing redundant employees.

In view of the treatment British companies have had in Burma, and the fact that we are short of capital for the development of the Colonial Empire, is it not ridiculous that no advice should be given in a matter of this sort?

I think the companies concerned, if there are companies proposing to invest money in Burma—which is the situation envisaged in the Question—can draw their own conclusions about the position, but we regard it as most unsatisfactory and are trying to take appropriate action through diplomatic channels.

May I ask whether this question of the industrial court was discussed on the recent visit of the Burmese to London?

I could not say without notice. I think the decision of the industrial court came after the discussions.

The whole question of protection of British interests has been under continuous discussion with the Burma Government.

Does the British Government's guarantee to the Burmah Oil Company cover employment?