HC Deb 01 August 1956 vol 557 c1366
8. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action has been taken since March, 1955, to obtain redress for the British shareholders of the Egyptian Delta Light Railways; what has happened concerning the two lawsuits brought in 1954 on behalf of the company's debenture holders; and what communications he has had from the Egyptian Government following the report of the commission appointed by that Government on this matter.

Lord John Hope

Since the developments described in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) on 7th November last year, Her Majesty's Embassy have on several occasions drawn the attention of the Egyptian authorities to the British interest both in the shares and the debentures of this company and have pressed for an early indication of the Egyptian Government's attitude. Last December, the Egyptian Minister of Communications informed the Embassy that he had submitted the whole question to the Egyptian legal authorities; and that after receiving their opinion, and the technical report on the railways for which he had called, he would make a recommendation. I understand that the court cases are still sub judice.

Mr. Teeling

Does my hon. Friend not feel that this is taking rather a long time, and can we be told now or at some future date if further pressure is to be put on the Egyptian Government on this matter? In the meantime, would it not be a good idea with regard to claims such as this if a register were now opened in this country to deal with the many claims against Egypt which are pending at the moment?

Lord John Hope

On that last point, perhaps my hon. Friend would put down a Question. Generally speaking, I cannot comment on those suggestions while these cases are sub judice, however unsatisfactory the position.

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