§ 49. Mr. Lewis
asked the Minister of Defence why shipment of arms and munitions were being despatched to Egypt up to July, 1956; whether he is aware that some of these arms were used by the Egyptians against the British in the recent battle of Port Said; and whether he will take action to prevent a recurrence of this.
§ Mr. Head
Until Egypt seized the Suez Canal in July the principles governing the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the export of arms to Egypt were those embodied in the Tripartite Declaration of 1950. This recognised that the Arab States and Israel should maintain a certain level of armed forces.
I am aware that some arms of British origin were used, in common with much larger quantities of Soviet arms. There is now a ban on the export of arms to Egypt.