HC Deb 12 June 1956 vol 554 cc216-7
7. Mr. Dodds

asked the President of the Board of Trade the total value of new and second-hand Sherman tank spares authorised for export by his Department under Licence No. 17B/6431/55; to whom it was issued; on what date the first consignment under this licence left this country; when the order will be copleted; and the country of destination.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I do not think that it would be proper to disclose details about transactions authorised under particular export licences.

Mr. Dodds

Can the right hon. Gentleman deny that the licence was issued for nearly £400,000 worth of new and second-hand Sherman tank parts, and that these have gone to Egypt? If the right hon. Gentleman cannot deny that, will he say why we are being so helpful to a country which is so hostile to us on every occasion? Will he also explain why the Government did not sell the parts themselves at proper prices rather than sell them to a dealer at give-away prices?

Mr. Thorneycroft

This licence was issued in the ordinary way and under Government supervision.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is better to have British rather than Russian tanks in Egypt?

Hon. Members