HC Deb 07 July 1930 vol 241 cc16-7

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received a letter from the British Union in Egypt drawing attention to the necessity of supporting the present British High Commissioner by an advisory council of British subjects who have real knowledge of Egypt, and pressing the importance of making it known in Egypt that any new negotiations with the object of concluding an agreement, must be started with a clean slate, and that this country is in no way committed by the negotiations which have recently taken place; and what action he is taking in connection with these proposals?


A letter addressed to the Prime Minister on the 7th June contained suggestions of the nature indicated. The position of His Majesty's Government in regard to the resumption of negotiations for an Anglo-Egyptian settlement was defined in reply to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Chelmsford (Colonel Howard-Bury) on the 30th June. His Majesty's Government do not consider that the task of British representatives abroad in general, and of the High Commissioner in Egypt in particular, in interpreting the policy of His Majesty's Government to the Governments to which they are accredited, would be facilitated by the existence of advisory councils, as suggested in the question. His Majesty's representatives naturally make it their business to apprise His Majesty's Government of the views of the local British communities on questions in which their interests are involved.


Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called by his representatives in Egypt to the fact that there is a general idea in Egypt that negotiations can start at the point at which they left off when the representatives of Egypt left this country?


That is an entirely different question of which I must have notice.


With regard to the last part of the question, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is taking any action to carry out these proposals, as has been done unofficially in the past?