Oral Answers to Questions — Dead Sea Salts (Concessions).

– in the House of Commons on 13th March 1929.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury , Chelmsford

5.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has had any further communication from the French Ambassador with regard to the Dead Sea concessions; whether any reply has been sent to the last communication; whether the grant of this concession in principle by the Colonial Office to Mr. Moses Novamesky offers an obstacle to a settlement by agreement; and how does the position now stand?

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

The reply to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the second part, a reply is about to be sent to the French Ambassador's Note. I do not understand the implication of the third part of the question. No question of settlement by agreement has arisen. As regards the last part of the question, I have nothing to add to the replies which were given to the hon. and gallant Member for Abingdon (Major Glyn) on 4th March by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury , Chelmsford

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is the desire of the French Government to take this matter to The Hague?

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

I cannot say. I do not think any decision on that point can be taken till they have had our reply to the French Ambassador's last letter.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what the French interests in the Dead Sea are?

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

No I cannot. If further information is required, I must ask for notice. I think a question of that sort had better be put to the Colonial Office.