HC Deb 14 August 1940 vol 364 cc774-5
43. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for War whether His Majesty's Government are taking the fullest advantage of the presence in this country of men with experience of antitank weapons and tactics in the Spanish war by employing them as instructors with the Army and Home Guards in antitank training?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for War (Sir Edward Grigg)

All possible advantage is being taken of every form of experience in previous wars gained by individuals in this country.

Captain Bellenger

May I ask whether the Government are interested in or are taking any active part in the private school which I understand has been set up in a certain spot not far from London to teach ways of immobilising tanks according to the methods which were used in the Spanish war?

Sir E. Grigg

Yes, Sir, great interest is being taken in it.

Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is the considered opinion of a large number of men who fought in France that if the war experience of the Spanish refugees had been taken advantage of to instruct our men in France, they could readily have delayed the German tanks, and why is it that these refugees have instead been kept in concentration camps?

Sir E. Grigg

Of course, I cannot answer a question about why these men have been detained, but I think the experience in Spain has been taken very fully into account.

Mr. Mander

Does the hon. Gentleman say that the Government fully recognise the use of the school in question?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the Minister assure us that every effort is being made to make use of the services of men, both British and Spanish, who had experience of the Spanish war?

Sir E. Grigg

Yes, Sir.

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