HC Deb 07 May 1956 vol 552 cc819-20
34. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the conversations recently held at Addis Ababa with the Ethiopian Government regarding the working of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of 1954

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I visited Addis Ababa from 10th to 24th April and had full and frank discussions with the Ethiopian Government on a wide range of subjects. We discussed in detail the relations between Ethiopia and the Somaliland Protectorate and considered the difficulties which had arisen in the working of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of 1954 and had been left unresolved by the Harar Conference

Although both sides reserved their legal position on the interpretation of the 1954 Agreement, we were able to reach identity of views on arrangements for the operation on the ground of certain provisions of the Agreement, which will, I hope, be of real benefit to the Somali tribes of the Protectorate

Mr. Johnson

Whilst appreciating the handicaps on the delegation in this matter, may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman is aware that the Somalis are disheartened by the lack of results achieved? Would the hon. Gentleman carefully watch the illicit traffic in arms on the Ethiopian border by the Ethiopians, and will he assure the House that in watching this he will bear in mind the paramount desire of the Somalis to have a fair deal from Ethiopia?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Yes, Sir. If the hon. Member has any evidence about traffic in arms and he notifies me, I will do my best to follow up the matter. I hope that the results achieved will be of real benefit to the Somali tribes of the territory

Mr. Beresford Craddock

Can my hon. Friend expand the statement he has made? Were there not other questions discussed?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

There was a considerable number of questions. As I said, we had full and frank discussions, but the value of confidential discussions is, of course, in their remaining confidential.

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