HC Deb 30 November 1955 vol 546 cc2285-6
13. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the number of Centurion tanks in respect of which sales to Egypt have been authorised but deliveries have been suspended.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord John Hope)

None, Sir.

Mr. Johnson

May I ask my hon. Friend if we have, in fact, as was stated by the New York Herald Tribune, sold 38 Centurion tanks to Egypt, and if we can take it that the Manchester Guardian was misinformed when it stated on 14th September that the sale of 60 such tanks was authorised?

Lord John Hope

I think my hon. Friend knows that it is not customary to go into numbers, and he can take it that the policy which was last enunciated very clearly in the House on 31st October with regard to the supply of arms to the Middle East will be followed by Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Strachey

But does the reply mean that we have not suspended the delivery of tanks to Egypt, and if this is the case, will not the Egyptians be in the unique position of being able to try out the British tanks that they are acquiring against the Russian tanks which they have acquired lately, and is not this a preposterous position?

Lord John Hope

I have answered the Question. It was quite a clear one, and I think my answer was clear, too.

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