HC Deb 10 July 1924 vol 175 cc2441-3

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the claim of over £2,000,000 of the ex-Khedive of Egypt, Abbas Hilmi II, against the British Government in respect of valuable private property belonging to him, and consisting of palaces, works of art, land, and properties which were taken from him by the British military authorities during the War, and that it is necessary for the counsel and solicitors in this country who have been retained to represent the ex-Khedive to have constant access to and consultation with him, and for that purpose his presence now in England is essential for the preparation of his case and presentation to the proper tribunal; whether he is also aware that application has been made for a passport to enable the ex-Khedive to come to this country to consult with his legal advisers, and that such passport has been refused, although France, Belgium, Italy, and all other countries in Europe against which no claim is made by the ex-Khedive, have given him facilities to travel and reside in those countries; and whether, seeing that Egypt never was an enemy country, in the interests of justice, a passport will be issued to the ex-Khedive of Egypt to come to England to instruct and consult with his legal advisers so that he may obtain a full and fair hearing of his case?


Yes, Sir, His Majesty's Government are aware of the claim indicated in the question, but are not aware that there is anything to prevent the legal advisers of the ex-Khedive from having access to or consulting their client, or that it is essential for him to come to this country for the purpose; and, after consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I am not disposed to allow him to come here.


Does the right hoe. Gentleman not agree that this treatment is hardly in accordance with British traditions, and that it is a denial of Justice against a man who has a legitimate claim against the Government, and it is impossible for his legal advisers to be constantly crossing from this country?


I have already intimated that I have consulted my right hon. Friend. This is not a new case. My predecessors both at the Foreign Office and the Home Office could not see their way to give this permission, and so long as my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, for public reasons, cannot agree, it is not always advisable, in the public interest, to state the reasons.

Captain BENN

Does the right hon. Gentleman say that it is not in the public interest to state the reasons why this man cannot be permitted to consult his own legal advisers in this country?


Have we not enough trouble in this country already?


Is it true, as alleged in the question, that this gentleman has a free right of travel in France, Belgium and Italy, and, if these countries can act so liberally in this matter, why cannot Great Britain do the same?

Lieut.-Colonel JAMES

Is it not a fact that, since 1896, the late Khedive consistently waged war against this country?


I cannot state what is the position in regard to the countries named by my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. Pringle).

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