Britain Charged with Bad Faith on Handling Compensation from Egypt

A former British Ambassador to Cairo bitterly attacked the British Government last night in the House of Commons, charging bad faith in top Government’s handling of compensation to British subjects including many Jews–for lost British assets in Egypt following the 1956 Suez campaign.

Lord Killearn made his charges during the second reading of the foreign compensation bill to enable the Government to carry out a final compensation settlement. Asserting that feeling “ran high” in Britain on the issue, he recalled that 8,000 British subjects had been thrown out of Egypt.

He said the British Prime Minister had given undertakings for “complete restitution or as an alternative complete compensation” and that the then Foreign Secretary, Selwyn Lloyd, has given an “implicit pledge” that 93,000,000 pounds ($260,400,000) in Egyptian credits in London would be security for such compensation.

Lord Killearn charged that there had been several attempts to “run away from these pledges” and asked: “When is a pledge not a pledge?” He said the victims of the Suez confiscations should not be made to repay loans made to them because they had to spend those loans to live.

An estimate of British property frozen in Egypt was given as 20,000,000 pounds ($56,000,000) against which the Government compensation plan provides 2,500,000 pounds ($7,000,000) plus arrangements for a committee to examine cases of claims of hardship. Despite Lord Killearn’s protests, the bill was read a second time and passed through all its stages.

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