HC Deb 05 July 1954 vol 529 cc1779-80
19. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has any further statement to give the House in respect of Anglo-Egyptian relations.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

As I said in reply to a Question in this House on 2nd June, it is still the intention of Her Majesty's Government to seek to reach a suitable agreement with the Egyptian Government. I have nothing to add to that at present.

Mr. Sorensen

Would the Minister at least indicate chronologically what progress has been made? Are we likely to have the result announced in the relatively near future?

Mr. Lloyd

I hope in the relatively near future.

Mr. Shinwell

Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman seen a statement in the Press purporting to be from a speech delivered by a high-ranking Egyptian spokesman the other day to the effect that when the British troops evacuated the Suez Canal Zone that would be a useful opportunity to make an attack on Israel? Has he seen that statement? If so, what is his comment on it?

Mr. Lloyd

I have seen that statement. I think it would be very much to be deplored if that was the view of the Egyptian Government.

Mr. Shinwell

Has that statement been authenticated by Her Majesty's Government?

Mr. Lloyd

We have no reason to believe that the gentleman in question did not make that statement.

Mr. Amery

Does not my right hon. and learned Friend think that the statement by Major Salem, that We cannot fight in Palestine with the British lurking behind our backs creates conditions in which it is very difficult indeed to negotiate with the Egyptians about a withdrawal of British fighting troops from the Canal Zone?

Mr. Lloyd

I certainly think the statement was reprehensible.