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Suez Canal Zone Base (Anglo-Egyptian Agreement)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 28 July 1954

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5.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a further statement on the resumption of negotiations between Her Majesty's Government and the Egyptian Government over the Canal Zone.

11.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is in a position to make a further statement about the negotiations with Egypt over the future of the Suez Canal Base, with particular reference to the use of civilian contractors.

2.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is now in the position to make a statement on the progress of the talks between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the Republic of Egypt on the evacuation of British troops from the Suez Canal Zone.

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I will reply to these Questions at the end of Questions.

Pending the statement which the right hon. Gentleman is going to make in answering these Questions, and while I have no desire to prevent either my right hon. and learned Friend or my hon. Friend from putting any questions themselves, this point has occurred to me. Will the right hon. Gentleman, in making his statement to the House this afternoon, refer to the possibility of the resumption of the export of arms to Egypt in the meantime; and, secondly, will he say anything about the negotiations on the subject of Egyptian intervention with shipping in the Suez Canal?

My statement will deal with the actual agreement, and I think the House will be willing to wait for that announcement. It is a quite normal and courteous way of replying to Questions by such an announcement.

That is all very well, but the right hon. Gentleman has indicated that he is not going to say anything about these two matters, although they are indicated in the Questions on the Order Paper.

I have only told the House that I will make a statement at the end of Questions. It seems to me the normal and courteous way of proceeding to answer hon. Members' Questions.