HC Deb 07 July 1930 vol 241 cc4-5
7. Captain EDEN

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he can give any further information about the recent attack on Datta Khel and an adjacent fort, particularly as to the numbers engaged on both sides and the composition of the defending troops?


Datta Khel and the adjacent post Boya were attacked on the 11th May by lashkars of Wazir tribesmen originally estimated at 500 and 400 respectively, but it was subsequently stated that these lashkars numbered about 4,000 and 1,200. From the information at my disposal Datta, Khel is garrisoned by four platoons of the Tochi Scouts and Boya by two platoons of these Scouts. With the help of bombing by aircraft the attacks were successfully repulsed, and on the approach of the Razmak Movable Column on the 15th May the enemy withdrew.

Captain EDEN

Can the Secretary of State say why the gallantry and loyalty of these troops have not been publicly referred to and acknowledged, and can he say whether any presentation has been made to the Indian officer in charge of the fort?


I am not in a position to accept the statement made by my hon. and gallant Friend. In any case, it is primarily a matter for the Government of India who would not, I imagine, be lacking in their duty in this respect.


Is it not the case that the scouts under this young Indian officer displayed the greatest gallantry in repulsing overwhelming forces? Does the right hon. Gentleman not think it would be proper for him also to make some acknowledgment of their gallantry?


Certainly. I have no desire otherwise, but the question was put in a different form.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is not the conduct of this gallant Indian officer very typical of the efficiency of the Indian officers of the Indian army?