HC Deb 31 May 1954 vol 528 cc884-6
28. Mr. J. Amery

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a further statement on the course of negotiations with Egypt on the future of the Suez Canal Zone.

The Minister of State (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

I have nothing to add to the reply given to the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) on 12th May.

Mr. Amery

Has the attention of my right hon. and learned Friend been drawn to Press reports emanating from Cairo and Washington alleging that Her Majesty's Government were preparing a new approach to the Government of Egypt? Can he confirm that under present conditions of terrorism in the Canal Zone, and Egypt's breaches of the Anglo-Sudan Agreement, there can be no question of any such new approach?

Mr. Lloyd

With respect to any Press statements there may have been, I think emanating from Cairo, there is no foundation for the statements which I have read. So far as the question of law and order in the Canal Zone is concerned, there had been a considerable improvement, and in particular we had received a substantial measure of co-operation from the Egyptian police over recent weeks. Unfortunately, there have been two very serious incidents, of which I am certain the House is aware, and the whole future will be governed by the extent to which the Egyptian police co-operate in seeking to bring home guilt to those responsible for these very serious crimes.

33. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what official statement was made from the British Embassy, Cairo, on 26th May about the state of negotiations between Britain and Egypt.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

None, Sir.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Does my right hon. and learned Friend categorically deny that an official of the British Embassy said that the offer made in October still stood. in commenting on a report from the Foreign Office in Cairo that Her Majesty's Government had cancelled their last Note? Are we to understand that there was no statement made from the Embassy of any kind?

Mr. Lloyd

I have not seen the report to which my noble Friend referred, but so far as my investigations go, I am quite satisfied that there has been no statement from the Embassy in Cairo to the effect that we had "climbed down"—I think that was the expression used—and were about to begin negotiations again.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether the statement attributed to a spokesman of the Egyptian Foreign Office dealing with the question of uniforms in the Canal Zone and a possible attack on Turkey was, in fact, accurately reported?

Mr. Lloyd

I should be grateful if the right hon. Gentleman would put down that Question on the Order Paper, as I should like to study it.