§ 33. Mr. T. Reid
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the official complaint of the Egyptian authorities that British officials have tried to influence electors in the Sudan elections.
§ Mr. Eden
Her Majesty's Government have received from the Egyptian Government copies of several notes addressed to the Governor-General of the Sudan accusing British officials of improperly influencing the course of the elections. The Egyptian Government also addressed a telegram to the Electoral Commission on 21st November alleging grave interference by British administrators.
All these documents either make wide general accusations, or quote as evidence some of the ex parte complaints which have been considered by the Electoral Commission. The Commission has inquired into all these cases and in every single instance its decision has been that the proper conduct of elections was unaffected by any act of the administrators concerned.
§ Mr. Shinwell
If there is any truth in the allegations about the United Kingdom Government using its influence, is it not also clear that we met with very moderate success?
§ Mr. Mayhew
Does not the result of these elections provide yet another instance of the integrity and sense of duty 757 of the Sudan Civil Service? Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the difficulty of their position is warmly appreciated on both sides of the House? Should not that be conveyed to them?
§ Mr. Eden
I think we are all aware of the difficulties of a great many people in this situation, but as long ago as 1948 this House expressed itself in favour of Sudan holding elections, and I think that, in the circumstances, what has followed since is inevitable. The Sudan Civil Service could not have behaved better in the difficult position in which they were placed.
§ 37. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reports he has received on the conduct of the Southern Sudan elections particularly in respect of assaults on tribal chiefs and policemen.
§ Mr. Sorensen
May we take it that, generally speaking, the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that these elections took place in a relatively fair atmosphere?