HC Deb 30 January 1974 vol 868 cc415-7
2. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will refuse accreditation to General Shazly as Egyptian ambassador.

The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Lord Balniel)

I have nothing to add to the answer which my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary gave to the hon. Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose) on 23rd January.—[Vol. 867, c. 289.]

Mr. Davis

Is it not a gross affront to loyal British citizens that a person who is known to have consorted with Fascists, such as Colin Jordan and John Tindall, when he was here at the embassy in 1962 and who was prepared to spend thousands of pounds on disseminating anti-Jewish propaganda should now be imposed upon this country as ambassador? Is there not a suitable precedent for refusing accreditation when the Saudi Arabians refused to recognise Sir Horace Phillips on the ground that he was Jewish?

Lord Balniel

All the relevant factors will be taken into account when considering whether or not to grant accreditation, but I cannot enter into discussions about allegations made in the Press.

Mr. Fidler

Will my noble Friend ask his right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to bear in mind my letters to him dated 10th and 15th January and his reply, and my reply to him dated 23rd January, on this very subject? Will he accept that it will be completely unacceptable to every democratic and decent person in this country that a known associate of Fascists in 1962 should in any sense be accepted in any capacity in this country?

Lord Balniel

It is internationally recognised that the reasons for granting or withholding accreditation are never given to the requesting State. It would, therefore, be quite wrong for me to discuss the factors which will be taken into account in my recommendation.

Mr. Frank Allaun

The Minister referred to allegations. Will he tell the House whether he has investigated those allegations and, if not, will he undertake to do so before this man is accepted here, particularly as details of the correspondence between him and Colin Jordan and Tindall are available?

Lord Balniel

General Shazly was, in fact, military attaché here at the embassy of the United Arab Republic from 1961 to 1964. I have no comments to make about his activities at that time.

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