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Egypt set to build high dam after nationalising Suez canal

By Nneka Nwogwugwu

President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced last night that the Egyptian Government had decided to nationalise the Suez Canal company.

Nasser said that the income from the canal of $100m will build the Aswan high dam.

Last week the United States and Britain withdrew their offers of money for the dam.

Britain is the largest single shareholder in the Suez Canal company, owning seven-sixteenths of the total. The company’s 99-year concession was due to expire in thirteen years, after which the canal would have reverted to Egypt. President Nasser said shareholders would be paid in accordance with the last closing prices on the Paris bourse.

Senior Egyptian officials arrived in Ismailia from Cairo last night to take control of the Suez Canal company’s headquarters and chief installations which had been placed under strong police guard.

Police also cordoned off the company’s administrative building in Cairo. Early to-day it was learned that Sir Anthony Eden had conferred, for three hours – with Cabinet Ministers, the Chiefs of the three Services, the French Ambassador, and the American Charge d’Affaires – to discuss Egypt’s action. The talks were at 10 Downing Street.

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