HC Deb 04 May 1959 vol 605 cc20-1
34. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reasons were given by the Government of the Sudan for returning the statues of Lord Kitchener and General Gordon to the British Government.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr John Profumo)

The Sudan Government originally intended to transfer the statues to a national historical museum in Khartoum. They subsequently offered to present the statues to Her Majesty's Government as a gift. As I stated on 17th December, Her Majesty's Government accepted this offer.

Mr. Hughes

Does not the Minister of State think that this is a rather unfriendly action on the part of the Sudanese Government? Does he not think that it is an awful prospect to think of all the statues which might be returned to London?

Mr. Profumo

I do not know about considering this an unfriendly attitude on the part of the Sudanese Government, but I think that I might refer the hon. Gentleman to an article he wrote in the pages of Izvestia on 18th January on this subject in which he said. I thought rather foolishly, that he thought that the Sudanese were rather nicer than the Irish.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister of State aware that I ended that article by saying that the Irish were much wiser and more friendly to us by blowing up the statues?

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