Anglo Egyptian Agreement Of 1954
“It was decided that this House approved the agreement signed on 27 July in Cairo between Her Majesty`s Government and the Egyptian Government. We are aware of all these responsibilities. Is Parliament not the last and, finally, the most important, this agreement with Egypt, to realis that we are going to create a new model of friendship in these parts of the Middle East? That is what we want to do. Only in this way can we hope to cooperate with these countries. We cannot hope to work with them by bringing 20,000, 30,000, 80,000 men and telling them what to do. They simply will not do what they are told, which creates endless difficulties for all of us. The same is true for Saudi Arabia. We have just reached an agreement to get our differences out there. In Libya, we have reached this agreement.
We have our contract with Jordan. With Israel, we want and maintain the friendliest relationship we can establish. It is not a question of forgetting our commitments. That is why yesterday we reaffirmed the commitments we have under the 1950 agreement, which we support and to which our allies have recently said they agree. The agreement between the United Kingdom and Egypt, signed in Cairo on 19 October 1954, replaces the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 26 August 1936, which was denounced. The previous treaty provided for the establishment of a set of military and support facilities along the Suez Canal and its garrison by British troops. The 1954 agreement provided for the gradual evacuation of this garrison from the Suez Canal base, as it is commonly known, until 18 June 1956. During the 20-month evacuation (October 19, 1954 to June 18, 1956), the Egyptian armed forces gradually took control of the base and detention of the designated base facilities.
The full value of the treaty depends on the fact that the Egyptian government is given a great deal of trust. I hope and believe that this trust can be justified, but I am well aware that it cannot be justified and we could be wrong to adopt a vision as optimistic as that advocated by the Minister of War. I think that in the long run, the real outcome of the agreement will be to cancel the base in its current form. I think this agreement is the least damaging way out of the situation, but we have to face the dangers and the sooner we negotiate a new agreement on the channel, the better. It is the end of one period and the beginning of another. This is the least bad way for the country to follow, but I do not think we should be under any illusions that this is a very good path. 5 See Khadduri, Majid, “The Anglo-Egyptian Controversy,” 24 Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science 82-99 (1952). When the evacuation was completed on June 18, 1956, it was completed only three weeks after the first invasion by British forces on 10 July 1882.
New York Times, October 20, 1954, 1, 9. I was asked the position of the Commonwealth. I think, my friend, the member for Preston, North, said it was shocking to think that ministers cannot say that they fully agree with the Commonwealth, when he was right to add that it was for the Commonwealth itself to say it and not for us. I have two messages that might be of interest to the house. Pakistan has been much mentioned in this debate and its attitude has been questioned. Today I received a telegram from Sir Zafrulla Khan, who is known to this House as Pakistan`s Foreign Minister, who, after starting some pleasant remarks that I will not read, continues on the agreement: I am sure that it will lay the foundations for a strong friendship and benevolent cooperation between Egypt and its people and the other free democratic states in the service of all the peoples of these regions. The agreement is a great achievement and an excellent example of the exercise of the skill of the state and the courageous attitude of Her Majesty`s Government on world issues.