HC Deb 19 December 1928 vol 223 cc2988-9
8. Colonel HOWARD-BURY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any further information with regard to the position in Afghanistan and the safety of British subjects in Kabul?


Fighting appears to have broken out again at Jalalabad, but I have no precise information. As regards Kabul, I have received a report that tribesmen led by a notorious brigand, Bacha Saqao, attacked on the west of the city on 14th-15th December, and captured two forts. I have no exact information as to developments since that date, as the British Legation which lies outside the city, has apparently been unable to use the wireless station, which lies near the Palace in the centre of the city. From the reports of an aeroplane which flew yesterday from Kohat to Kabul in order to establish communication with His Majesty's Legation, and from other indications, it appears that the aerodrome and the neighbourhood of the Palace are still in possession of loyal forces.

Plans were worked out some time ago by the Government of India for the withdrawal of women and children by aeroplane in case of need. The aeroplane mentioned above, which was despatched on the cessation of messages from His Majesty's Minister, received a message by signal to the effect that all in the Legation were well. The leaders of the tribesmen assured His Majesty's Minister on December 14th, that they had no hostile intention towards the Legation, but the Government of India will, of course, take all possible steps to ensure the safety of British nationals.