LONDON (Dec. 28)
The British Foreign Office and the Ministry of Supply today indicated that they are at work on drawing up a system of safeguards to halt the selling of “reconditioned” surplus army equipment to Egypt by British and Belgian munitions merchants.
Meanwhile, a report to the Daily Telegraph today from Antwerp revealed that enough British army materiel to equip several armored regiments has already gone to Egypt via Antwerp. On the other hand, the report declares, there is doubt as to whether many of the British Valentine tanks shipped to Cairo from Antwerp will do Egypt much good. Tests in Antwerp showed that many of the tanks shed their tracks, exasperating Egyptian officers observing the tests. Belgian munitions men had ordered a large consignment of surplus tank-tracks, but that shipment was held up by British customs men in Cardiff.
The Antwerp report also throws additional light on the contention that the British tanks were bought only for “reconditioning” in Belgium. One tank, it is reported, had been driven only 54 miles while another had an engine that had scarcely been used at all.