HC Deb 15 July 1919 vol 118 c192
21. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for War whether native levies are being raised and trained in Mesopotamia; when it is expected that native levies will be able to relieve the greater part of our troops in Mesopotamia; and what is our future policy as regards the Army of Occupation in Mesopotamia?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. Future policy with regard to the policing of Mesopotamia cannot be definitely laid down until we receive a mandate to administer the country. The possibility of using native levies to some extent is, however, under consideration.

As regards the Army of Occupation, our future policy is to cut it down as much as possible, and to employ as large a proportion of Indian and other native troops as possible. The extent, however, to which local native troops could be employed, depends on their efficiency, which is at present an unknown quantity. It is hoped to make considerable use of the Air Service with a view to economising troops and their maintenance in the outlying unsettled districts.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any information with regard to the future policy of the Government concerning the Army of Occupation in other countries not so far away as Mesopotamia?


No, nor as to the extent to which it is possible to rely on native levies.


When will the Army of Occupation in Dublin be transferred to Belfast?