§ 5. Mr. PONSONBY
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to 1704 the statement of the Egyptian Government that, of the 12 capitulatory Powers, Norway alone had replied in favourable terms to the invitation issued by the Egyptian Government in December, 1927, asking for some modification of the capitulatory regime; and whether he can give any reason why Great Britain should refuse her assent, seeing that Lord Cromer, Sir Eldon Gorst, and Lord Kitchener repeatedly reported to His Majesty's Government the desirability of modifying the capitulatory system and bringing it more into harmony with modern conceptions and with the progress and evolution of the country?
It is not the fact that His Majesty's Government have refused their assent to the proposals made in the Egyptian Government's Note of the 26th December last. These proposals had formed the subject of discussion with the late Sarwat Pasha a year ago, and on the 12th instant, in reply to a further communication from the present Egyptian Government, Lord Lloyd reminded them that His Majesty's Government in Great Britain had already reached an unofficial understanding with the late Sarwat Pasha as to the above Egyptian proposals and stated that, in the event of a conference being necessary to bring them into effect, His Majesty's Government were ready to act in accordance with that understanding provided that, for their part, the Egyptian Government would do likewise.