HC Deb 11 March 1957 vol 566 cc133-4W
85. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the latest steps which have been taken by Her Majesty's Government with the United Nations organisation in relation to free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal when this is reopened and through the Gulf of Aqaba; and what is the present position in the above respect.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

So far as the Suez Canal is concerned, Her Majesty's Government are working for freedom of transit for all ships without discrimination. On 13th of October, 1956, the Security Council agreed that any settlement of the Suez question should meet, amongst others, the requirement that there should be free and open transit through the Canal without discrimination, overt or covert.

So far as access to the Gulf of Aqaba is concerned, my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of State defined Her Majesty's Government's position in the United Nations General Assembly on 4th of March. It is the view of Her Majesty's Government that the Straits of Tiran must be regarded as an international waterway through which the vessels of all nations have a right of passage. The Government will assert this right on behalf of all British shipping and are prepared to join with others to secure general recognition of this right. Support for the principle of freedom of passage through the Straits was given by the United States and a number of other delegations.

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