HC Deb 25 January 1954 vol 522 cc1442-3
19. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the progress of negotiations with the Egyptian Government with regard to the Suez Canal base.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I have nothing to add to the answer given by my right hon. Friend on 20th January, but these grave matters are engaging the constant attention of the Cabinet.

Mr. Wyatt

Can the Minister say how the negotiations are going with the rebels in his own party who are trying to get the negotiations broken off?

Major Legge-Bourke

May I ask my right hon. and learned Friend whether it is proposed to leave before the Egyptian Government the same proposals as have already been put before them, without any regard to the outrageous things happening in the Canal zone involving our men? Is there no time limit whatsoever before the Egyptians have to accept these terms or they are withdrawn?

Mr. Lloyd

The matter to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers is one which we all deplore, and it is certainly one of the matters to be taken into consideration with regard to these negotiations.

37. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, following the published official statements by General Neguib, he will publish a White Paper containing the points of agreement and disagreement so far reached during the course of the negotiations with the Egyptian Government on the question of the Canalzone.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend has already told the House of the two major outstanding points. He has also undertaken that the House will be given an opportunity to discuss the question at the appropriate time. It would not be in the public interest to reveal more details now.

Mr. Henderson

What is the objection to publishing this information in view of the fact that General Neguib does not seem to be inhibited from giving the points of agreement and disagreement which have arisen in the course of the negotiations? As the negotiations have reached a deadlock, is it not desirable that the public should be informed so that they can make up their own minds as to what are the points of agreement and the points of disagreement?

Mr. Lloyd

I certainly agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman that it is right that the public should be informed at the appropriate time, but the question is who should decide what the appropriate time is, and in the view of Her Majesty's Government that time has not yet come.

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