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Anglo-Egyptian Agreement

Volume 656: debated on Monday 19 March 1962

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government are satisfied with the working of the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement; and if he will make a further statement on its implementation by the Egyptian Government.

Her Majesty's Government are in touch with the United Arab Republic Government about the Agreement and are considering ways and means of speeding up execution of those provisions that are still unfulfilled I hope that it may be possible before long to make a comprehensive statement to the House; but it would at present be premature to do so.

But is my hon. Friend aware that in the meantime there is great consternation in the minds of many people whose property is still in Egypt? Gould my hon. Friend possibly arrange, or try to arrange, for a firm such as Topliss and Harding to go there and find out what property is still there and in what condition it now is?

I am fully aware of the consternation and of the difficulties that have been caused to many people in regard to this matter. Our Ambassador in Cairo recently had an interview with President Nasser, and we are hoping that many of the difficulties will be resolved in the future. We shall make a statement as soon as we can.

But will my hon. Friend answer my Question: is it possible to get some inspection of the property in the near future?

Will my hon. Friend ask his right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal to take a firmer stand on these matters? Here we have the United States riding roughshod over something and President Nasser riding roughshod over something else. Is it not time that Britain stood up for herself?

I can assure my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal has very recently taken a very firm stand in the matter.