Jewish Family in London Files $35,000,000 Property Claim Against Egypt

An Anglo-Jewish family whose properties in Egypt were expropriated by the Egyptian Government during the 1956 Suez campaign was disclosed today to have filed a claim for compensation of 12,500,000 pounds sterling ($35,000,000).

The claim was filed by Ellis Smouha with the Foreign Claims Commission which makes payments in such cases from the 27,500,000 pounds sterling ($77,000,000) which Egypt paid to Britain in settlement of all claims by British nationals for property in Egypt.

Mr. Smouha told the commission that his father, a Manchester resident, went to Egypt on a mission for the British Government in 1917. At the end of World War I, he began to acquire property in Alexandria which eventually became “Smouha City,” a name bestowed by the late King Fouad who once said that the elder Smouha was the only foreigner who brought his money with him to Egypt and did good for the country.

Ellis Smouha said it had been his father’s intention to sell the property gradually over a number of years and thus provide a satisfactory income for all members of his family. However, he added, the family had come to the conclusion, even before 1956, that it would soon become impossible for foreigners, particularly for Jews, to live comfortably and without worry in Egypt.

He. said this conclusion was reached despite the fact that his father was “held in very high esteem by all elements of the population and the Government.” The family made a small start toward transferring their property but lost everything as a result of the expropriation. The claimant said that nothing had been returned to the family, not even the income from the property collected by the Egyptian Government over the years.

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