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Egypt (Dismissed British Officials)

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many British officials dismissed by the Egyptian Government have now returned to this country; and how many have secured alternative employment.

Since former British employees in Egypt are private persons, they do not necessarily notify Her Majesty's Government of their arrival in this country nor of arrangements they may make for alternative employment. I cannot therefore provide the figures requested. Her Majesty's Government have, however, made arrangements to interview those who ask for assistance in obtaining employment, and are, as has already been stated in the House, doing their best to help. These arrangements are under the general control of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour.

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that we have a responsibility towards these officials, and that this information ought to be in the hands of the Government?

I certainly admit that we have a responsibility towards these officials, but I thought I explained in my answer that we cannot be informed as to who of these individuals, who are private persons, have come back and when?

Can my hon. Friend say how many of these former officials have returned to this country and are suffering in this way?

So far as I am aware we have not yet been notified of any who require the assistance to which I referred in my answer, but should we be so informed we shall take active steps to see that they are assisted.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the secretary of the association of these people resides in the constituency of the Minister of Labour, and will he therefore make inquiries of that Minister?