HC Deb 02 April 1946 vol 421 cc1110-2
The Secretary of State for Foreiģn Affairs (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

As the House is aware, the Egyptian Government have invited His Majesty's Government to negotiate with them a revision of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of Alliance of 1936; and His Majesty's Government have agreed to undertake such negotiations in the light of our mutual experience, and with due regard to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations for ensuring international peace and security.

His Majesty's Government are now ready to proceed with discussions in Cairo, and have appointed me to lead the British Delegation, with the assistance of the Secretary of State for Air and of His Majesty's Ambassador in Egypt, Sir Ronald Campbell. It will not be possible for me to be present at the earlier stages of the discussions, but I shall be in close touch with Lord Stansgate and the Ambassador who will be conducting them on my behalf.

His Majesty's Government have also appointed Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, formerly His Majesty's Ambassador at Bagdad and at present Head of the Middle East Secretariat in the Foreign Office, as political adviser, and Sir Arnold Overton, Head of the British Middle East Office in Cairo, as economic adviser. The Commanders-in-Chief of our naval, military and air forces in the Middle East will act as military advisers to the delegation, who will also have the assistance of Major-General Jacob, of the Chiefs of Staff Secretariat.

His Majesty's Government are confident that their choice of a delegation to meet the distinguished delegation appointed by the Egyptian Government will be welcomed in Egypt as an earnest of their desire to lay a firm foundation for the future relationship between the two countries, which realised such a high degree of comradeship during the critical years of the war.

Mr. Richard Law

I do not want to comment on the important statement which the Foreign Secretary has just made, except to say this: I think that the whole House will welcome the opportunity which is afforded by these negotiations for the reaffirmation of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of Alliance, which has been of great benefit to both countries, and possibly of even greater value to Egypt than it has been to us. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he hat: informed the Dominion Governments of these impending negotiations and whether he will keep them informed in the course of the negotiations?

Mr. Bevin

The decision to agree to the opening of these negotiations for the revision of this Treaty has been communicated to the Dominions, and I shall communicate today the actual names of the representatives who are going to conduct them.

Major Leģ ģe-Bourke

Would the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is proposed to recall Lord Killearn for these discussions and does he not think his experience would be of great value?

Mr. Bevin

It is not the intention to recall Lord Killearn. We have put him on to a job which is full time.



" to make further provision with respect to civil aviation and matters connected therewith, and, in particular, to secure the development of air transport services by corporations operating under public control," presented by Mr. Ivor Thomas; supported by Mr. Herbert Morrison, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Wilmot, the Attorney-General, and Mr. Strachey; to be read a second time upon Monday next, and to be printed. [Bill 99.]