HC Deb 02 December 1909 vol 13 cc536-7

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can say what is the exact number of persons who have been actually deported in Egypt under the Law of 4th July, 1909; whether their cases were heard in public, and they were allowed legal assistance; whether the evidence against them was given on oath and was cross-examined; and whether the amount of security demanded for their good behaviour was raised from £100 to £1,500, and was such that it was impossible for them to find it, and that their deportation followed as a matter of course?


Up to November 5th, 167 persons had been ordered to reside in the oasis, having been condemned to supervision in their villages and having failed to find the necessary security. Their cases were heard in public. I cannot say whether the accused were in all cases assisted by counsel, but they had the opportunity of obtaining legal assistance in accordance with Article 5 of the Law, and the report in my possession shows that some at least availed themselves of it. The proceedings were conducted on the same lines as those of the ordinary law courts. The amount of security demanded varied from £E100 to £E1,000, except in eleven cases, in which for special reasons it was fixed between £E1,000 and £E1,500, but I have no information to show that any of these amounts were unreasonably high. At the time named, 85 cases were still before the Appeal Committee.


asked the Secretary of State whether he has any official knowledge as to the healthiness or otherwise of the Khargeh oasis to which persons deported under the Egyptian Law of 4th July, 1909, are sent; and whether he can state if those persons are treated in regard to labour and liberty of movement as convicts, or under what conditions they are confined?


I have no official information as to the point referred to in the first part of the hon. Member's question. As regards the second point, information regarding the conditions in which persons are detained under the Law is contained in Article 19 of that Law, which provides for their employment on field or other labour if they so desire, in accordance with rules to be drawn up by the Ministry of the Interior. I understand that the conditions of residence in the appointed locality will have no penal character, and persons there confined will be allotted a residence to which they can bring their families, and will be allowed and encouraged to earn their livelihood in any way they please. Those who have no means of subsistence will be provided with suitable employment for which they will receive proper remuneration.

Mr. J. D. REES

May I ask whether an oasis in Egypt is really an unhealthy place for Egyptians?