asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the terms of the agreement reached with the French concerning the operation of, or disposal of, the Haifa-Beirut-Tripoli Railway; and whether the Lebanese Government were consulted beforehand.
The British and French representatives in the Lebanon recently communicated to the Lebanese Government the draft of a tripartite agreement about the Lebanese section of the Haifa-Tripoli railway. If this draft agreement is accepted, H.M. Government in the United Kingdom will grant an option to purchase the Lebanese section of the railway to a French or Lebanese company designated jointly by the principal French representative in the Lebanon and the Lebanese Government. I hope that the views of the Lebanese Government will shortly be received.
May I ask my right hon. Friend whether his answer means that the Lebanese Government were not consulted before the agreement was made, and that it was a bilateral one?
My answer plainly states that the Lebanese Government were consulted before the agreement was made.
Oh, no, that is not my question. The Question I put on the Paper is whether the Lebanese Government were consulted before the agreement was made between the British and the French, and clearly the answer shows that it was not, and that is the trouble.
The agreement was made a long time ago.