HC Deb 11 April 1951 vol 486 cc993-4
2. Mr. Alport

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent the Egyptian Government have fulfilled their commitments under the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty to provide accommodation and public utilities for British Forces stationed in the Canal Zone; and what was the estimated amount owing to the United Kingdom at the end of 1950.

Mr. H. Morrison

No accommodation or public utilities have been provided at the Egyptian Government's expense for His Majesty's Forces stationed in the Suez Canal zone. As regards the second part of this Question, the nature and extent of the building carried out by His Majesty's Forces in Egypt during and since the Second World War have differed so greatly from that envisaged in the 1936 Treaty that I do not think it would serve any useful purpose to attempt at present to make the financial calculation suggested by the hon. Member.

Mr. Alport

Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether this is not, in fact, a debt owing to this country by the Egyptian Government over the past 15 years, and was any effort made to get some settlement of this debt during the recent financial negotiations between His Majesty's Government and the Egyptian Government?

Mr. Morrison

It is a complicated debt, but I can assure the House that in discussions which may take place in the future on the numerous claims outstanding between the two Governments this fact will certainly be kept in mind.

Mr. Vane

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that barrack and other accommodation will be paid for before it is occupied by the Egyptian Army?

Mr. Morrison

One cannot be too categorical about that because of the facts of the Great War, when exceptional measures had to be taken.

Mr. Duncan Sandys

When is the right hon. Gentleman proposing to make a detailed statement about the conversations now going on in regard to the evacuation of the Suez Canal zone?

Mr. Speaker

There will be a Question about that at the end of Questions by the Leader of the Opposition.

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