HC Deb 05 March 1919 vol 113 cc382-3
18. Major HURST

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether a resolution from the principal business houses of Port Said, Egypt, has been transmitted to him by the High Commissioner of Egypt; whether this resolution emphasises the necessity of the use of the English language and the adoption of English law and procedure in the Courts, particularly in criminal matters; whether any reply has been sent; and what action it is proposed to take?


The answer to the first and second part of the hon. and gallant Member's question is in the affirmative, subject to the reservation that the form of the communication in question was that of a letter expressing agreement with a memorial previously addressed to Sir R. Wingate by British lawyers in Egypt; it consequently required no special reply. The views put forward by the British lawyers, and supported by the British business houses were communicated at the time to the Commission sitting at Cairo, which is charged with the preparation of the proposed new judicial organisation, and is receiving careful consideration by the Advisory Committee in this country as well as by the Foreign Office.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the indignation that is felt among business classes, both in Egypt and in England, at the proposed exclusion of the English language and English law from the Egyptian Courts?


Yes, Sir, I am fully aware of that. I have received a deputation on the subject quite recently.


When are we likely to have the Report of the Commission which is considering the matter?


I will inquire.

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