HC Deb 05 February 1959 vol 599 c558
18. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is now the total cost of the Suez operations, taking into account military expenditure, loss of the British base, our share of clearing the canal, the higher cost of petrol, repayment of loans from the International Money Fund and the Export-Import Bank of America, and the new agreement with the United Arab Republic.

Mr. Erroll

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave on 3rd February to the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis).

Mr. Hynd

As the complete figures have not yet been disclosed, will the Minister ensure that before the nation declares judgment at a General Election the full facts are laid before them?

Mr. Erroll

The fullest possible facts have already been made public.

Mr. H. Wilson

If the hon. Member is incapable of adding up the figures, will he take it that people who can add up, having allowed for whatever is the cost of reparations under the United Arab Republic financial agreement, and having allowed for the heavy borrowing to maintain sterling in December, 1956, put the figure at no less than £500 million? In view of statements by hon. Members opposite about the groundnuts scheme, will he see that the country can compare the two figures and put them into perspective?

Mr. Erroll

I will take note of the points the right hon. Gentleman has raised.

Mr. Dudley Williams

When drawing up these figures of the cost of the Suez operation, will my hon. Friend give an indication to the country of how much of this cost was directly attributable to the scandalous behaviour of the Opposition?