§ 68. Mr. THORNE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can give the House any information in regard to the agreement recently signed by the Suez Canal Company and the Egytian Government; the amount that the Egyptian Government will receive per annum; and the number of seats that have been allotted her on the governing board?
§ Viscount CRANBORNE
The main points of the agreement are as follow: The Egyptian Government are to publish a decree enabling the maximum dues chargeable by the company to be fixed at the equivalent in Egyptian piastres of 10 gold francs. The company in turn will pay to the Egyptian Government an annual sum of 200,000 Egyptian pounds. Two seats on the board of the company will henceforth be reserved for Egyptians. The company will progressively admit Egyptians to its clerical staff in Egypt, the proportion to reach 25 per cent. in 1958. Finally, a number of minor points between the company and the Egyptian Government are to be adjusted. I should add that His Majesty's Government have received assurances from the company that the conclusion of this agreement will not affect its declared policy of reducing the dues as circumstances permit, and that an early reduction is in fact contemplated.
§ Mr. THURTLE
Will the Noble Lord say whether this will affect the number of British directorships on the board?