HC Deb 20 May 1957 vol 570 cc837-8
11. Major Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the property of Israeli nationals in Egypt has now been desequestrated; and what steps he is now taking to ensure that the property of British nationals is returned to them or compensation paid.

20. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the fact that the property of Israeli nationals in Egypt has now been de-sequestrated, to what extent discussions are now taking place to lead to similar action in regard to the property of British nationals.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Commander Allan Noble)

I have seen these reports, but upon inquiry it seems that these measures have the effect of removing from sequestration the property of persons arrested or placed under supervision by the Egyptian police, and I understand that this affected Jews of nationalities other than British and French, including Egyptian Jews, but it did not relate to citizens of Israel.

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister stated in the House on 13th May, discussions are to be held with the Egyptians in a neutral capital. The possibility will then be explored of securing satisfactory arrangements to cover the financial claims which we have against Egypt.

Major Wall

Can my right hon. and gallant Friend say whether he has any information about the private property of British subjects in Egypt? Has it been sold or otherwise disposed of?

Commander Noble

I am afraid I have no further information on that, but, as the Prime Minister has said, all this will be borne in mind.

Sir F. Medlicott

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman bear in mind in approaching this matter that the best results are likely to be obtained by using the utmost diplomatic skill and business acumen rather than by more doubtful methods?

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