Oil Boring Project

Oral Answers to Questions — Leeward Islands – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th May 1949.

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Photo of Mr Tufton Beamish Mr Tufton Beamish , Lewes 12:00 am, 18th May 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has completed his inquiries into the immediate plans of the Governor of the Leeward Islands to proceed with under-water boring for oil along the coast of these islands; what will be the approximate cost of this project over the next five years; and when boring is to commence.

Mr. Creech Jones:

The inquiries mentioned in the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member on 6th April are not yet complete. I regret that in the meantime I am not in a position to reply to the last two parts of his Question.

Photo of Mr Tufton Beamish Mr Tufton Beamish , Lewes

Is not this, if anything, even more extraordinary than what the right hon. Gentleman said on the last Question? If the Governor has immediate plans for boring for oil how can the right hon. Gentleman have no idea what it will cost? It is simply amazing.

Mr. Creech Jones:

Until further surveys are made, and the whole problem investigated, it is impossible to give any information about costs. This matter is now with the Director of Geological Surveys, and discussions and inquiries are proceeding.

Photo of Mr Tufton Beamish Mr Tufton Beamish , Lewes

Does that mean that the project is not immediate, and that the Governor was inaccurate when he said it was?

Mr. Creech Jones:

It is an immediate project, but before a project is started there has to be a great deal of investigation.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

Can the Minister tell us whether there is the slightest truth in these statements? Are they not a lot of bombast?

Photo of Mr Frederick Skinnard Mr Frederick Skinnard , Harrow East

Has a geological survey ever been made in these islands?

Mr. Creech Jones:

No, Sir, we are trying to catch up with the negligence of the past.