HC Deb 09 November 1937 vol 328 cc1584-5
53. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for War, how many 12-inch howitzers have been placed on the northern shores of the Straits of Gibraltar by foreign Powers; what is the country of origin of these howitzers; and how many of them are so placed that they could bombard the fortress or harbour of Gibraltar?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

According to information, there were four 12-inch howitzers of which two have been withdrawn. They were originally emplaced by the Spanish Nationalist authorities after the shelling of Algeciras, presumably for the protection of the territory under their control. They are not so sited as to be able to bombard the fortress or the harbour of Gibraltar. As to the origin of these howitzers, I would prefer not to commit myself formally to an authoritative statement.

Mr. Leach

To whom does the right hon. Gentleman refer when he speaks of the Spanish Nationalist authority? Does he refer to the rebels?

58. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for War whether any guns of German origin have recently been mounted in positions commanding the fortress of Gibraltar or the Straits of Gibraltar?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

So far as I am aware, no guns have recently been mounted in such positions.

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