HC Deb 27 February 1948 vol 447 cc371-2W
Mr. House

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the prospects of signature of the draft treaty of friendship and commerce as proposed last September by the Government of Ethiopia to His Majesty's Government.

Mr. Bevin

The draft treaty proposed by the Ethiopian Government has been sympathetically examined. I had some discussion of it with the Ethiopian Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs when he was in London last November, and he agreed with me that certain outstanding questions then under amicable negotiation would need to be settled before a new treaty on the lines suggested could usefully be concluded. The latest British proposals in regard to these questions have been under consideration by the Ethiopian Government for some weeks past, and I hope to hear shortly that they have been accepted. His Majesty's Government for their part are very willing to negotiate with the Ethiopian Government a series of agreements on the questions dealt with in the Ethiopian draft. There are many complex technical matters involved, and it is therefore impossible to forecast with any accuracy how long the negotiations will take. But in view of the friendly relations between the two countries, I have no doubt that with good will on both sides it should be possible to complete the work in a reasonably short space of time.

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