Oral Answers to Questions — British Guiana (Mining Rights)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th June 1948.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Skinnard Mr Frederick Skinnard , Harrow East 12:00 am, 16th June 1948

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the confused position in British Guiana caused by the multiplicity and variety of prospecting licences and mining concessions granted to nearly 700 British and foreign companies and individuals, he will consider the formation of a public mining corporation for the Colony, utilising for a period the services as agents of those prospectors whose licences are for considerable terms.

Mr. Creech Jones:

The great majority of these rights are held by local inhabitants on an annual basis, covering comparatively small areas. In the absence on practical grounds of any other system it is for local reasons not desirable to terminate the present arrangements.

Photo of Mr Frederick Skinnard Mr Frederick Skinnard , Harrow East

Is the Minister aware that there have been misgivings because one of the concessions, as reported in a recent issue of the "Crown Colonist," covers 6 per cent. of the total area of British Guiana and was granted to the Anaconda Copper Company of the United States?

Mr. Creech Jones:

I answered that supplementary question last week. In any case, exploitation will be conducted within the terms of the circular on the subject of mining which I issued some time ago.