HC Deb 14 March 1955 vol 538 cc934-5
27. Mr. J. Eden

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what discussions he had in Egypt about Israeli-Arab relations; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Anthony Nutting)

My right hon. Friend's talk with the Prime Minister of Egypt on 20th February covered the whole range of Anglo-Egyptian relations and of Middle East problems, including the Arab-Israel dispute.

Mr. Eden

Can my right hon. Friend tell me whether Her Majesty's Government have made any definite proposals to alter the demarcation line in the areas where it is obviously arbitrary and unpractical so as to lessen the tension in those areas? If he cannot tell me that, will he assure me that Her Majesty's Government will take urgent and early steps to see that some movement is made towards altering the demarcation line in such areas?

Mr. Nutting

As the Foreign Secretary informed the House in his statement on 8th March, and in reply to supplementaries, we are working hard on this problem, and the demarcation aspect which my hon. Friend has raised of course comes well within our considerations.

Mr. Janner

Would the right hon. Gentleman use his endeavours to see that an opportunity arises for the two sides to get together on this matter, as Israel has often asked, and will he see, to the best of his ability, of course, that the threats which are constantly being made by Egypt on the basis that she is at war with Israel shall stop and that the tension on the border in consequence shall also cease?

Mr. Nutting

The hon. Member must know perfectly well that any possibility of the two sides getting together, as he puts it, are not exactly assisted by incidents of the type which recently took place at Gaza.