HC Deb 14 May 1948 vol 450 cc254-5W
Mr. Hastings

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will expedite the conclusion of a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between Britain and Ethiopia, the draft of which the Ethiopian Government presented to His Majesty's Government on 13th September last; and whether he will now state a date for the withdrawal of the British military administration from the Ethiopian Ogaden, which was agreed to by the Ethiopian Government in December, 1944, as a temporary measure to facilitate Allied world war operations, without prejudice to Ethiopian sovereignty.

Mr. Mayhew

As regards the first half of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. House) on the 27th February last. Since then there have been a number of further friendly exchanges of view between His Majesty's Government and the Ethiopian Government on those matters, the settlement of which is a necessary preliminary to the conclusion of a new treaty, and these exchanges are continuing in the same amic- able spirit. In the meantime, satisfactory progress is being made in the study of the technical questions involved in the negotiation of agreements on the subjects covered by the original Ethiopian draft. As regards the second part of the Question, His Majesty's Government are in communication with the Ethiopian Government about the arrangements for commencing the withdrawal of British troops from the Ogaden and it is hoped that withdrawal will begin in the very near future.

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