HC Deb 10 February 1960 vol 617 cc445-6
21. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what sum has been paid by the Abyssinian Government as compensation for the killing last December by their troops of fifteen Somalis who were exercising their grazing and watering rights secured by Treaty between Great Britain and Abyssinia.

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

I have nothing to add to the reply my hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) on 1st February.

Mr. Rankin

I am sorry, but I am acquainted only with the replies which have been given to me by the right hon. Gentleman. Perhaps he might be good enough to tell me about that reply which I failed to notice. Is it not the case that these incidents have been continuing for a long while and will probably continue because there are Treaty weaknesses which ought to be looked into? Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that much of this trouble dates from the fact that the Treaty in existence between this country and Ethiopia now needs revision?

Mr. Profumo

I am sorry to have referred the hon. Gentleman to something that escaped his notice, but when he looks at the Answer I think that he will find it helpful. I do not think that I could have put it better than my hon. Friend put it. With regard to the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I think that I should remind him of the fact that about 250,000 Protectorate Somalis have migrated in and out of Ethiopia every year since the Agree- ment entered into force, and we have had remarkably little trouble. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we want to see the Treaty improved, and we are in constant contact with the Ethiopian Government to that effect.

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