HC Deb 05 March 1928 vol 214 cc794-5
8. Mr. DAY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any communications have taken place between the British Government and Ibn Saud as to the present British policy of repelling raiders in Iraq; and, if so, can he give the House particulars?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Amery)

Yes, Sir. His Majesty's Government have been most careful to furnish King Ibn Saud with prior information as to the action to be taken to repel the raiders. I do not think it desirable to give particulars at this stage.

9. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is making any inquiry as to the failure of the British Air Force to prevent raids on the southern frontier of Iraq?


No, Sir. I see no reason for making an inquiry. I am quite satisfied that the Air Force has done, and is doing, all that is possible to deal with these raids, and that the maurauders will ultimately learn that they cannot penetrate peaceful neighbouring territory and indulge with impunity in wanton pillage and the massacre of men, women and children.


Is the right hon. Gentleman quite satisfied that the headquarters of the Royal Air Force should remain in the northern part of Iraq, while these raids generally take place on the southern border? Is he contemplating a shifting of the headquarters, so that the forces may be more on the spot when these raids occur?


In a matter of a purely technical character, I am not contemplating interfering with the discretion of the air commander there.


Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that in using air force to punish the supposed culprits you are always liable to kill innocent men, women and children, and that the right course would be to have a regular police arrest of the guilty parties themselves?


No, Sir, I—


That is more like a speech than a question