HC Deb 24 May 1922 vol 154 c1239W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the minorities in Egypt whom His Majesty's Government have reserved the right to protect include the Coptic population in that country; whether the Copts insist, like the Moslems, on the liberation of their country; what is the reason foe such discrimination between different elements of one race; whether Italians. French and Americans in Egypt are included among the minorities; whether the Italian and French residents in Egypt have addressed notes to their respective Governments protesting against the intended protection of them by His Majesty's Government; and whether the United States of America have already refused to have their subjects in Egypt protected by His Majesty's Government?


The British authorities in Egypt have on several occasions in the past afforded protection to minorities, and they will continue to do so in the future to those in need of it. Whatever the attitude of the Copts to-day, they were very anxious for British assistance in 1907, and I am unaware that His Majesty's Government exercised, or are exercising, any discrimination with regard to Copts or Moslems. I am aware that some foreign communities in Egypt, misapprehending the meaning of the declaration of His Majesty's Government to Egypt, addressed communications to the representatives of their respective countries. No official representations have, however, been made to His Majesty's Government by the Powers concerned.