asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps His Majesty's Government have taken and will take to assist Petroleum Concessions Ltd., Petroleum Development Ltd. (Oman and Dhofar) and Petroleum Development Ltd, (Trucial Coast) at present exploring for oil round the Arabian coast between Qatar and Aden.
The companies have been afforded all proper assistance by the local representatives of His Majesty's Government. The latter have placed their knowledge of the conditions in the area at the companies' disposal and have, where necessary, used their good offices with local authorities. This assistance will continue to be afforded in the future.
Is the Under-Secretary aware of the strategic importance that oil can have if found in these areas in substantial quantities? Is he further aware that I am not asking in any way for Government interference, but for closer liaison with these companies?