HC Deb 02 November 1937 vol 328 c727
67. Mr. Vyvyan Adams

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that no information has yet been given to the House respecting the calibre and country of origin of the guns emplaced opposite Gibraltar; and whether he will now convey this information to the House?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The guns on the Straits of Gibraltar are of various calibres from 12-inch howitzers downwards. Ceuta was a defended port before the civil war began, and its armament has not been reinforced since the early period of the war and then only by guns of secondary calibre. On the Gibraltar side batteries were installed after the shelling of Algeciras. As the big guns on this side are howitzers which are not normally installed for seaward purposes, it is a reasonable deduction that the defences have been improvised for the protection of Spanish Nationalist territory. The guns on both sides of the Straits are of various dates and countries of origin.

Mr. Wedgwood Benn

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what are the countries of origin of these guns?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I have just answered this question.

Mr. Benn

Can he say were they made in Spain?

Mr. J. Griffiths

Or Wales?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

Really, the House, I am sure, will be reasonable about this. I am surely not invited to give a catalogue of every gun in the possession of the Spanish Government, with its country of origin. I have said there are guns of various dates and various countries of origin.

Mr. Benn

The right hon. Gentleman said the other day that he knew the country of origin of these new guns. What are the countries?

Mr. De la Bère