§ 2.37 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the event of an Agreement being reached between this country and Egypt in regard to the Canal, the Agreement will contain a provision requiring its ratification after first publication, so as to provide an opportunity for Parliament to consider the terms of the Agreement before it actually comes into force.]
THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (THE MARQUESS OF READING)
My Lords, the noble Lord is presumably referring to the possibility of our reaching agreement with the Egyptian Government on outstanding issues, including the Canal Zone garrison and base. In that eventuality, Her Majesty's Government would have to consider whether there should be a provision in the Agreement requiring ratification so as to provide Parliament with an opportunity to consider the terms of the Agreement. I cannot at this stage anticipate the decision of Her Majesty's Government. There will be a number of considerations to be taken into account. I can, however assure the noble Lord that Her Majesty's Government will give full weight to the fact that in the case of an Agreement of this importance ratification would be normal.