HC Deb 23 March 1964 vol 692 c8
9. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement about the result of his discussions with the Government of the United Arab Republic regarding the property of British nationals that was resequestrated in October, 1961.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Robert Mathew)

Further representations have been made to the United Arab Republic authorities, both in Cairo and in London, about this matter since my hon. Friend the Minister of State replied to my hon. Friend's Questions about it on 29th May last year. It seems clear that the United Arab Republican Government will accept the principle of compensation for that part of the property which is not returned to its owners. I regret, however, that they have yet to communicate their decisions about how and when the compensation is to be paid and when the remainder of the property is to be released.

Mr. Wall

Is my hon. Friend aware that that is exactly the same reply as I have received every time I have asked this question in the last two years? Is he aware that only last week the U.A.R. Government announced that they were paying compensation for sequestrated property of their own nationals and that 48 British nationals have been deprived of the use or management of their property now for over two years? What will he do about that?

Mr. Mathew

We are well aware of the situation, and I have seen the Press reports to which my hon. Friend refers. The embassy in Cairo realises the great importance we attach to the question and is taking every opportunity to press for a satisfactory settlement.