§ 35. Captain W. BENN
asked the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a short statement relative to the recent disturbances in Egypt, the steps which have been taken to restore order, and the intentions of the Government as to the reinstitution of constitutional government?
There is little to add to the statements made in Parliament on 15th May last.
For some time past General Allen by has reported that the state of the Provinces is practically normal. Steps are being taken to repair the damage which has been done to Government property, but some time will inevitably elapse before communications can be restored to their original condition. The large towns also are reported to be quiet, but there is still some agitation in El Azhar University. The strike of Suez Canal employés terminated on 10th June and since then the situation in the canal zone has been normal.
On the outbreak of the disturbances mobile columns were dispatched to the different Provinces to visit disaffected districts and to restore law and order. These mobile columns were accompanied by political officers acquainted with the particular districts. Inquiries are being conducted and offenders are being brought before military Courts. Sentences imposed by these Courts are carefully revised by officers possessing a legal training and a knowledge of the country.
1800 As regards the reinstitution of constitutional government, the Council of Ministers are transacting business as usual, but it is understood that it is not intended to summon the Legislative Assembly at present.
§ Captain BENN
Cannot the hon. Gentleman add to his statement any explanation of the cause of the disturbances?
§ Captain BENN
Was not a question put down on this very point, and was not the House informed that the High Commissioner in Egypt was examining into it?
I told the House he was doing so in preparation for the Royal Commission which was going there.
My hon. and gallant Friend must know the ordinary methods and channels by which debate can be instituted.