HC Deb 13 April 1964 vol 693 cc26-7
19. Sir J. Eden

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what protest he has made to Egypt concerning the threat to the peace in the South Arabian Federation caused by the continued build-up of Egyptian military forces in the Yemen.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I would refer my hon. Friend to the information I gave in answer to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) on 16th March. Although the terms of reference of the United Nations Observation Mission have been extended until May, there has been no other significant development so far as the Secretary-General's connection with the problem is concerned. We have not made formal representations to the Government of the United Arab Republic in the sense suggested by my hon. Friend, but he will no doubt have read the searching and critical remarks made by Sir Patrick Dean in the recent debate in the Security Council, during which he drew attention to the clear and direct responsibility borne by the Government of the United Arab Republic for the disturbed state of affairs between the Yemen and the Federation of South Arabia.

Sir J. Eden

Will my right hon. Friend continue to press the Security Council to consider this matter and to have regard to the danger constituted by the presence in the Yemen of 30,000 to 40,000 hostile Egyptian troops, who definitely cause a threat to the peace of the South Arabian Federation? Would not my right hon. Friend agree that there would be justification for accusations against Her Majesty's Government if we failed to uphold our treaty obligations to independent Arab States? Will he continue to take the strongest possible measures, in conjunction with our allies in that part of the world, to maintain law and order against the Egyptian troops?

Mr. Butler

The answer, in general, is in the affirmative. As I have said, we have made representations to the Yemeni authorities.

Mr. A. Royle

Will my right hon. Friend continue making an immediate application for a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the continued occupation of the Yemen by Egyptian troops against the wish of the Yemeni people?

Mr. Butler

I do not know whether I could undertake to do that immediately, but we are determined to seize the Security Council of any outstanding issue in this difficult part of the world.