HC Deb 07 April 1937 vol 322 cc185-6
Mr. Attlee

(by Private Notice) asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can give the House any information regarding the report that His Majesty's ship "Gallant" was twice attacked by insurgent war planes off the coast of Spain yesterday, and what action he proposes to take in the matter.

Sir S. Hoare

Yes, Sir. Reports have been received that His Majesty's ship "Gallant," whilst on passage yesterday between Valencia and Alicante, was twice abortively attacked by bombing aircraft belonging to the Spanish insurgent authorities, presumably in mistake for a Spanish destroyer belonging to the Government forces. No damage was caused to His Majesty's ship. In accordance with instruction which had been issued to His Majesty's ships to protect themselves against attacks of this character, fire was opened upon the insurgent aircraft. Steps have been taken to bring the matter to the notice of the Spanish insurgent authorities. I am not yet in a position to make any further statement.

Mr. Thurtle

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many rounds were fired and how many hits were recorded?

Sir S. Hoare

No, Sir. The aeroplanes were flying at a great height, and it is impossible to say whether they were hit or not. They were driven away by the fire of His Majesty's Ship "Gallant."