§ 59. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether there has been any fighting or other disorder in Iraq since the present Government took office; whether His Majesty's Forces have been engaged and, if so, on what occasions; whether any bombings by aircraft have taken place since the beginning of this year; if so, on how many and what occasions; and what was the fighting and air-raiding which recently cook place at Sulimaniyah?
§ Mr. LEACH
I have been asked to reply. In answer to the first and second parts of the question, a few disturbances occurred in Iraq during the period mentioned. The only one of seriousness was that which took place at Kirkuk on the 4th May in the circumstances explained by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies in his reply on 12th May to the hon. Member for Kidderminster. There were slight disturbances at the end of March in the Sulimaniyah region, where a chief defied the Iraq Government, but withdrew after air action on a small scale had been taken. There has also been some unrest in the Afaj district, where three native policemen were killed on 25th April. Slight air action was then taken and the leaders of the offending tribes surrendered. As regards the last part of the question, an effort was made by a disaffected chief to stir up trouble following the Kirkuk incident. No fighting took place, but as the chief refused to surrender, his head quarters were bombed after a warning had been given. The situation there again has since been normal.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. HOARE
Is not the hon. Member carrying out identically the same policy as that which we carried out in this respect, and does he now repudiate the statements made by hon. Members behind him against the policy which we carried out?
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
Will the hon. Gentleman, when he tells us of the possibility of air warnings, tell us that no bombing has taken place in any of these operations and that there have been no casualties?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Will the hon. Gentleman's Department get information as to how many casualties have taken place and whether we are teaching the natives of this part of the world the blessings of the Sermon on the Mount?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
That is what the Germans did with us, and we called them Huns and ours are Christian soldiers.