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Persian Oil Dispute

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 5 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for a statement on the Persian oil position.

Hon. Members will recall that the International Bank has for some weeks been considering whether it could in some way assist towards a solution of the present deadlock over Persian oil. Mr. Garner, one of the Bank's Vice-Presidents, recently spent some two weeks in Teheran discussing with the Persian Government what form that assistance might usefully take. He has since been in London, where he has had talks with Ministers and two meetings with my right hon. Friend.

In these talks Mr. Garner conveyed to Her Majesty's Government, as he had already conveyed to the Persian Government, the Bank's proposals for seeking an interim settlement of the Persian oil dispute. Her Majesty's Government gave Mr. Garner their views on these proposals. Mr. Garner is now in Washington, but one of his colleagues, who has accompanied him on his travels, has now returned to Teheran to resume discussions with the Persian Government.

In all his talks on this matter, Mr. Garner has made it clear that the Bank is acting as an impartial international body, whose sole interest is to use its good offices to assist in settling a dispute which has arisen between two of its members.

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether there is likely to be some successful or material result from these negotiations in the near future in view of his conversations with the Vice-President of the International Bank?

I certainly hope there will be a successful result to these negotiations.

Will the Minister assure the House that any negotiations between the International Bank and the present Persian Government will not in any way prejudice the rights of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company under the old treaty?