British Government Halts Shipment of All War Materiel to Egypt

Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden today announced to a cheering Commons that all exports of war materiel to Egypt have been stopped. It was made clear that Britain will no longer ship arms previously sold to Egypt under the 1950 Tripartite Declaration. The tripartite agreement provided for arms sales to Middle East nations to maintain a regional power balance.

The Prime Minister was asked if the arms ban included two large destroyers just transferred to Egypt and still docked at Portsmouth. The destroyers have been renamed “All Quaher” and “Al Feteh” by the Nasser government. Sir Anthony said on these two warships: “I don’t know where they are, but I think the Royal Navy can take care of them wherever they happen to be.”

The Daily Mail reported today that the two Egyptian destroyers were being loaded with ammunition and other stores in preparation for a hurried sailing. The newspaper said that Egyptian officers have been telling local merchants from whom they have obtained some of their stores that the vessel will sail in four days. A Foreign Office official said he did not know of any move to prevent the warships from sailing. The destroyers are similar to two recently taken over by the Israel Navy.

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