HC Deb 04 December 1956 vol 561 c1017
2. Mr. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will institute an inquiry into the number of British casualties in Port Said caused by bullets and munitions manufactured in Great Britain.

The Secretary of State for War (Mr. John Hare)

No, Sir.

Mr. Lewis

Will the Minister give an assurance that none of those who lost their lives or suffered injury did so because of the use of British arms and munitions which were supplied by Her Majesty's Government? Will he just give that assurance?

Mr. Hare

No, Sir. I cannot possibly give that assurance. As has been repeatedly said, under the Tripartite Declaration this country did supply certain arms to Egypt, and that process started in 1950, when the hon. Gentleman's right hon. Friends were in power.

Mr. Benn

Can the right hon. Gentleman clarify his last answer, as we understood from the Prime Minister that the Tripartite Declaration did not apply to Egypt. Under what terms were the arms supplied?

Mr. Hare

As I think has already been explained in the House, certain arms were supplied under the Tripartite Declaration for the mutual protection of the States concerned.