The near threshold behaviour of the reaction cross section for pp --> pp et
a', recently measured in experiments at COSY and SATURNE, is analyzed. The
interaction in the pp as well as in the eta'p final states is taken into ac
count. The suppression of the total cross section for this process at exces
s energies Q < 3 MeV observed in these experiments is interpreted as an evi
dence for a strong repulsive eta'p interaction.