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Martial Law

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 22 June 1922

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether martial law in Egypt is still in the hands of the British military authorities; whether the cost of its administration is borne wholly or partly by the British taxpayer; whether the cessation of that responsibility awaits the passing of an Act of Indemnity by an Egyptian Parliament; and whether representations can be made to the Government of Egypt that the sooner that Parliament is elected the better?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. So far as I am aware, no extra cost devolves upon either the British or Egyptian taxpayer from the administration of martial law, which can always be terminated in the manner de- fined in the reply to the question put by the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle East (Major Barnes) on 8th May. The election of an Egyptian Parliament is a matter which solely concerns the Egyptian Government, and in which His Majesty's Government are not prepared to intervene.

Would the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs state just exactly what is the validity of this sentence of death passed upon a man for being found in possession of arms, and whether or not it is likely to add to the cost of the taxpayer in the event of it leading to some kind of armed revolt?