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Egypt (Sudanese Products, Transit)

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 November 1950

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57.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the prohibition by the Egyptian Government of the transit through Egypt to Israel of certain Sudanese products; and what action he proposes to take to safeguard Sudanese interests in this respect.

I am aware that the Egyptian Government have taken certain measures in this respect, although His Majesty's Government have not received any official communication concerning them either from the Egyptian Government or from the Sudan Government. I understand that the matter is the subject of discussion between these two Governments.

Will the Minister make inquiries and inform the House on this important matter, and make it perfectly clear that the British Government cannot consent to any such prohibition?

It is not a question of the British Government consenting. This is a matter for the Sudan and Egyptian Governments. It is not a matter for the British Government in that connection.

Has the Minister also had his attention drawn to the extraordinary statement made by Ibrahim Farrag Bey to the effect that all Egyptian parties regarded the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty as null and void, in view of the United Nations Charter; and does he propose to take that up as well?

That is an entirely different matter. It does not arise out of this Question.

Does my hon. Friend not agree that this is only an additional factor making for general upset and disorder in the Near East and ought not His Majesty's Government to interest themselves in it?

It is not quite correct to say that we are disinterested. We are very much concerned about the situation in the Middle East, as my hon. Friend is well aware.