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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.
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?
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.
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?