HC Deb 27 July 1953 vol 518 cc875-6
14. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when the negotiations with the Egyptian Government with regard to the Canal Zone will be resumed.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

As I informed the House on 15th July, the position as regards the resumption of negotiations is as stated by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 11th May when he said: If, at any time, the Egyptians wish to renew the discussions we are willing … Our hope is that negotiations will be resumed."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th May, 1953; Vol. 515, c. 892.]

Mr. Wyatt

Does that mean that Her Majesty's Government—and I am not saying that this is necessarily wrong-intend to make no move whatever towards the resumption of negotiations, but will wait for something to come from the Egyptian side?

Mr. Lloyd

Our position remains as stated. I should have thought that from the fact that General Robertson has returned to Cairo some inference could be drawn.

Mr. Shinwell

Meanwhile, pending negotiations on the wider issues involved, can Her Majesty's Government give any assurance that members of the British Forces in Egypt can be adequately protected? What about the case of Leading Aircraftman Rigden?

Mr. Lloyd

I think that the last time that this matter was mentioned the right hon. Gentleman was criticising us for the action taken. The action taken as a result of that incident and of two others has resulted in a substantial improvement in the security of British Forces.

Mr. Shinwell

But has action gone as far as to produce the body of Leading Aircraftman Ridgen? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] Has it? Cannot we have an answer to that? Is there to be no adequate protection afforded to members of Her Majesty's Forces in Egypt? In view of what was said about Abadan, can we have the Government's assurance on this? No answer? Can I have an answer?

Mr. Callaghan

Is it not the case that the Minister is not without some notice of this in view of the fact that there was a Question on the Order Paper on the subject of Leading Aircraftman Rigden? Cannot the right hon. and learned Gentleman give an assurance to my right hon. Friend?

Mr. Lloyd

The question of this aircraftman is an entirely different question. There was a Question on the Order Paper, which has been deferred, and it would be much fairer to the hon. Member opposite who put down that Question to wait until he reinstates his Question.

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