HC Deb 22 February 1939 vol 344 cc356-7
7. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Prime Minister the number of Italian troops at present concentrated in Italian East Africa, including Italian Somaliland and Eritrea, and the extent by which such numbers have been increased since November, 1938?

Mr. Butler

His Majesty's Government understand that the official establishment of troops in Italian East Africa amounts to 69,654. Actual numbers stationed there naturally vary from time to time, and there would seem to have been some increase in the past few months.

Mr. Henderson

In view of the proximity of British possessions to Italian East Africa, do His Majesty's Government propose to ask the Italian Government the reason for these increases?

Mr. Butler

I would say, in reply to the hon. and learned Member, we are always in touch with the Italian Government on any matters of importance.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Since this information means that the clause of the Anglo-Italian Agreement which dealt with the withdrawal of troops from Libya has, in fact, been wiped out, are we to understand that the rest of the Treaty has also been wiped out with regard to the withdrawal of troops?

Mr. Butler

This question deals with Eritrea and Somaliland.

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