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Suez Canal (Incidents)

Volume 527: debated on Wednesday 19 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what attacks there have been on British Service personnel in the Suez Canal zone during the past six weeks.

The total number of attacks during the period 2nd April to 13th May was 52. As a result of these attacks one British Service man was killed and four seriously injured. The total also includes two attempts at abduction which were, however, prevented by the Egyptian police.

Are protests made? Is any action of any kind taken, or do the Government just sit down and wait to see what happens?

Not this Government. On 18th April Her Majesty's Government's Consul at Port Said protested strongly, and the Ambassador reminded the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs on 22nd April and again on 13th May that we expect the Egyptian Government to maintain law and order in the Canal Zone.

Can the hon. Gentleman ever recall in British history any Government which remained so quiescent and inactive as the present Government?