HC Deb 12 March 1952 vol 497 cc1360-1
9. Mr. T. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent the unity of the Nile Valley is to be discussed in the Anglo-Egyptian negotiations; and if he will give an assurance that Sudanese representatives will be invited to take part in any discussion of this subject.

Mr. Nutting

As regards the first part of the Question, it is impossible for me to say to what extent this matter will be discussed in these negotiations. As regards the second part of the Question, it is not possible to say at this stage whether Sudanese representatives will be invited to attend any such discussions.

Mr. Driberg

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that any discussion of this matter between ourselves and the Egyptians at this stage must seem to some extent to prejudice the future right of the Sudanese people to self-determination? Is it not a matter that should be left for discussion bi-laterally between the Egyptians and the Sudanese after the transfer of power in the Sudan?

Mr. Nutting

I do not think that the House would expect me to go further in this very delicate issue than the statements which have already been made by my right hon. Friend. It has been made perfectly plain that in any discussions which might take place about the position of the Sudan, our first care must be for the wishes of the Sudanese people.