HC Deb 31 January 1956 vol 548 c730
1. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Minister of Works what price has been asked from the Egyptian Government for the surrender of the Nile frontage of the British Embassy at Cairo to enable the embankment road to be built.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Patrick Buchan-Hepburn)

The agreed compensation paid for the surrender of the land was £308,000.

Mr. Brockway

May I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman?

Lieut-Colonel Lipton

Upon what?

Mr. Brockway

Is this not a rather large figure?

Mr. Stokes


Mr. Brockway

Is it not the fact that nothing was paid for this land when the British Embassy took possession of it? Would it not be better to try to create good relations with the Egyptian Government, which might have an effect on wider matters, by being more just on this occasion?

Mr. Buchan-Hepburn

The fact is that this was not considered too large a figure for compensation. After all, we must remember that the frontage is of value, and apart from that, very expensive buildings have been erected on the site. Only last year additional buildings were erected by the British Government costing nearly £200,000. The negotiations with the Egyptian Government have been entirely amicable, and that was the figure they offered.