HC Deb 19 December 1962 vol 669 cc180-1W
39. Sir H. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that in recent weeks consignments of silver bullion, in the form of Maria Theresa thalers, shipped from Aden by British firms and consigned to European ports, have been confiscated during their passage through the Suez Canal by the Egyptian authorities; and what representations he is making to the Egyptian Government about those confiscations which are hindering British trade and are not in accordance with international law.

Mr. P. Thomas

Three consignments of Maria Theresa dollars, stated to be owned by two firms of British bullion brokers, which were on their way from Aden to Genoa, were unloaded under protest from two Swedish ships in Port Said earlier this month. They have not been confiscated. Her Majesty's Ambassador made representations in the matter to the Deputy Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 8th December and 13th December. He pointed out that the consignments were British-owned and were destined for Italy, and asked on what basis the action of the United Arab Republic authorities had been taken. Sir Harold Beeley was given to understand that the Egyptian authorities suspected that the consignments were destined for Israel, and was told that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had asked for a report from the Solicitor-General of the Prize Court in order to answer the Ambassador's questions. This report is awaited.

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