Anglo-Egyptian Negotiations

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1954.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North 12:00 am, 22nd July 1954

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the divergence of opinion held concerning the question of the Suez Canal Zone, he will give an assurance that before Her Majesty's Government reaches agreement with the Government of the Republic of Egypt on the withdrawal of British troops from the Canal Zone, Parliament will have an opportunity of debating any proposed agreement, and that, in the event of the House of Commons being on Summer Recess when the proposed agreement is made, he will take steps for the recall of Parliament so that this may be debated.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Woodford

I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on Tuesday.

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

As there has already been one resignation from the Conservative Party, and the Chairman of the Conservative Services and Defence Commitee, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse) has resigned from that office, and there is a wide divergence of opinion, is it not right and proper that there should be a full and frank debate in this House so that we can see what the views of the Government are, whether they have got the support of their back benchers and whether the 40 Members will revolt and resign as they have threatened?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South East

Is the Prime Minister aware that I can ask my own questions on this subject without any assistance from the hon. Member opposite? In view of the fact that the Foreign Secretary, in December of last year, gave an assurance that the heads of agreement would be brought to the notice of the House and, also, that he would not feel himself precluded from proceeding to negotiate the main Treaty, now that we are going into recess for 10 weeks does the Prime Minister not agree that it would be desirable to give us an assurance that the House would be recalled if an agreement were reached on this extremely important issue, which affects not only this country but the whole Commonwealth?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Woodford

The Lord Privy Seal will refer to that matter when he answers a question on the business for next week.