HC Deb 21 November 1956 vol 560 c77W
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.

Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Defence whether, without giving details of the types and quantity, he will state the total value in £ sterling of the arms and munitions supplied to Egypt by Her Majesty's Government from October, 1951, to 30th July, 1956.

Mr. Head

It would be contrary to practice to give this information.