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Expelled British Nationals (Claims)

Oral Answers to Questions — Egypt – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd July 1957.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Hon. Peter Remnant Lieut-Colonel Hon. Peter Remnant , Wokingham 12:00 am, 3rd July 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make an interim payment to British nationals expelled from Egypt on account of claims lodged.

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

Her Majesty's Government have every sympathy for British nationals evacuated from Egypt and have already made substantial payments through the Resettlement Board for the interim relief of hardship. We are now considering extending the definition of "hardship" to include hardship arising from prolonged deprivation of assets. I understand that a statement will be made shortly.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Hon. Peter Remnant Lieut-Colonel Hon. Peter Remnant , Wokingham

Is not my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that in March an undertaking was given by the Joint Under-Secretary to make releases from the blocked accounts in the United Kingdom of former British residents and institutions, but no such releases have been made? Will he make the most urgent representations to the Treasury?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

I fully realise that my hon. Friend and other hon. Members feel deeply about the matter, as do Her Majesty's Government, and I ask my hon. Friend to await the statement which will be made shortly.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South

While we all welcome what the Minister of State has said, might I assure him that if the Government can do something more to alleviate the great hardship of these British subjects, who have suffered through no fault of their own, they will have general support?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman.

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

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind that it is now some six or seven months since this tragedy took place, and throughout history have not British Governments always had a reputation for looking after their own nationals? Will he give a definite assurance that the consideration of which he speaks will be an urgent one and that we shall have an announcement before the House rises for the summer Recess?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

I made it clear that a statement would be made shortly. It will certainly be before the House rises for the Recess.