§ The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:
§ 13. Mr. LESLIE HALE
,—To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, what report he has received from Her Britannic Majesty's representative on the Control Commission at Tangier with reference to recent events concerning the Istiqlal Party; and what action he proposes to take.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
I assume the hon. Member is referring to the recent riots which took place in Tangier on the anniversary of the Treaty of Fez which the Istiglal Party observed as a day of mourning. As the hon. Member will be aware, the riots broke out in the afternoon of that day, 30th March. I regret to say that some fatal casualties, damage to property and looting took place. The evidence so far available on the number of deaths is conflicting, but I understand that either six or eight Moors lost their lives and a Swiss national subsequently died as a result of injuries received.
A factual inquiry is being held into the causes of the disorders by persons not connected with the Administration, who will report to the Committee of Control. Until this inquiry is completed, it would be improper for me to pass judgment on what happened or to decide what further action it may be appropriate to take.
§ Mr. Hale
Who will make the inquiry, and how many Arabs will be on the Commission of Inquiry? Would the right hon. Gentleman also inquire what has 376 been the attitude over the last few months of the British representative on the Control Committee, who appears to have agreed to—and, indeed, propounded—many of the infringements of liberty of speech and many of the acts of censorship—indeed, for example, the cutting out of the French Foreign Minister's own newspaper in Tangiers—which have led to the unrest which, unfortunately, has resulted in some incidents?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I do not, of course, agree with the inference that the hon. Member draws, but those are quite different matters. If he puts Questions in regard to them on the Order Paper, I will seek to answer them. Regarding the first part of the question, inquiries will be conducted by certain officers who have been appointed by agreement among the members of the Committee.
§ Mr. Hale
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that that Act specifically and in the most solemn terms recognises the suzerainty of His Most Cherifian Majesty The Sultan, and does he really think that the surrounding of the Palace by machine guns and the ordering of the Sultan to consent to sign Dahirs under the threat of machine guns is a recognition of his suzerainty, and is it really the attitude of Her Majesty's Government that they are making no protest about this sort of thing?