§ 2.34 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government how much longer they propose to allow the Egyptian Government to detain, without trial, the unfortunate British subjects still in gaol in Cairo on the charge of espionage; and whether there is any precedent, recent or otherwise, for such long untried detention in any civilised country.]
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (THE MARQUESS OF READING)
My Lords, Her Majesty's Ambassador has been keeping a close watch on the situation and sending regular reports to my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary. Her Majesty's Ambassador is taking, and will continue to take, such action as in existing circumstances seems to him possible and wise in the best interests of the accused, which must be the first consideration. I have not been able to examine all the precedents, but the delay does seem excessive.
§ LORD KILLEARN
My Lords, I thank the noble Marquess for his Answer. I will not ask the supplementary question which I was going to ask if other and greater events had not overshadowed this Question. I would not have put this Question down had I known what was coming.