§ 22. Mr. J. Amery
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a further statement on the recent attack on Beihan State by Egyptian aircraft.
§ Mr. Greenwood
In reply to the protest to which I referred in my statement of 30th June, Her Majesty's Ambassador in Cairo has been assured by the U.A.R. authorities that there are standing instructions to their aircraft not to cross the Federation's borders and that the recent attacks on the territory of the Federation of South Arabia, of which the U.A.R. authorities claim to have no evidence of their own, can only have been a pilot's error and that further steps are being taken to ensure that the present instructions are more closely observed in future.
Following other attacks on Federal territory last April, we informed the U.A.R. Government that if there were further incidents of this nature we should at once initiate a discussion of the matter in the Security Council. When the latest attacks occurred we naturally considered whether we should not take action accordingly. After a very careful examination of all the circumstances, however, we concluded that there was a strong presumption that the attacks were due to a pilot's error. We decided therefore to accept their explanation of this particular incident. Our intention remains 767 to bring before the Security Council any further attacks of this kind. If reference to the Security Council did not end such attacks, we should have to consider the desirability of making a more direct response.
§ Mr. Amery
In his earlier statement the right hon. Gentleman said that we were seeking compensation and a public apology from the Egyptian authorities. Can we assume from his statement that the Egyptians have agreed to pay compensation and to make an apology? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his statement that we would refer the next incident to the Security Council and that if that did not end the attacks consideration would be given to whether we should take action is almost an invitation to the Egyptians to strike at us again? In view of these attacks on British territory and the murder by Egyptian-inspired terrorists of a senior official of one of the Territorial Governments, can he give us an assurance that there can be no question of sending a British Minister to Cairo at this juncture?
§ Mr. Greenwood
The hon. Member's last suggestion should be put to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. As for the apology, the important thing in a matter of this kind is to achieve results and not to bother too much about the form of words. We want to stop these attacks taking place. We now have an assurance from the United Arab Republic Government that steps are being taken to ensure that present instructions will be more closely observed in future. If that does not serve its purpose, I hope that my answer has made it clear what are our future intentions. Certain procedures have to be observed in matters of this kind and we propose to observe those procedures.
§ Mr. Shinwell
When the United Arab Republic delegation came to the United Kingdom the other day and was received with such friendliness, and even emotion, were the views of the British Government about Egyptian intervention in the Yemen conveyed to it? If so, what was the reaction?
§ Mr. Greenwood
As I made clear in my answer of 30th June my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made abun- 768 dantly clear to the Egyptian delegation the strength of feeling we had about attacks of this kind.