HC Deb 05 May 1920 vol 128 cc2063-5
47. Lieut.-Commarder KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister whether over 60 pledges have been given by past and present British Governments confirming the independence of Egypt, and stating that Egypt would be evacuated on the conclusion of hostilities?

Mr. B0NAR LAW (Leader of the House)

The various declarations made by successive British Governments are on record and speak for themselves. I do not think that they can be correctly summarised as "pledges confirming the independence of Egypt." His Majesty's Government have never stated that Egypt would be evacuated on the conclusion of hostilities.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask whether one of the declarations of His Majesty at the beginning of the War will be followed in the letter and the spirit, namely, that we will safeguard the autonomous rights of Egypt?


I should like to have the actual words to which the hon. and gallant Member refers.

48. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister whether responsible representatives of the Egyptian people are prepared to discuss and grant all reasonable guarantees for safeguarding British interests both in regard to the Suez Canal and in regard to commercial and financial interests in the event of the British pledges regarding the independence of Egypt being honoured; and whether, in view of the fact that the Egyptian delegation under Zagloul Pasha has received the unanimous support and confidence of the Egyptian people, discussion of the future of Egypt can take place between representatives of His Majesty's Government and the Egyptian delegation?


If representative Egyptians are prepared to discuss the matters referred to, it is regrettable that they did not avail themselves of the offer of unrestricted discussion made by Lord Milner's Mission. As regards the latter part of the hon. and gallant Member's question, I would refer him to the reply to the hon. Member for Wigan on 27th April.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask whether, in the case of Lord Milner not having received any satisfaction from his visit, the matter will be reopened and these Egyptian gentlemen consulted with a view to a mutual arrangement between the two countries?


I am quite sure that any discussion that may be useful will be readily entered into, but the question of usefulness must be judged by the Government.

Lieut.-Colonel MALONE

Is it not the case that the Milner Mission went to Egypt with instructions that were tantamount to discussing how best the Protectorate could be maintained there, and is it not obvious that under those conditions no Nationalist representatives would wish to interview Lord Milner?


The Milner Mission went out to consider the best method for the Government of Egypt.

Sir J. D. REES

May I ask if it can be said of the Egyptian delegation or of any other delegation that it receives the unanimous support and confidence of the Egyptians or of any other people, and does my right hon. Friend let that pass as accepted?


I did not think it necessary to answer that, but I have never seen in this country anybody that gave absolute satisfaction to all the people.

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