HC Deb 09 September 1941 vol 374 cc1-2
1. Mr. Wedgwood

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the army of Rashid Ali, in Iraq, has been allowed to retain its arms?

The Secretary of State for War (Captain Margesson)

Under the armistice terms the Iraqi Army was permitted to retain its arms and equipment.

Mr. Wedgwood

Is not this taken as an act of weakness on our part by the natives of Iraq, and, far from fighting against the Germans, will not the presence of these troops on our lines of communication require a considerable number of troops that might otherwise be assisting the Russians?

Captain Margesson

The answer to the first question is, in my view, "No, Sir," and to the second question, that it is really a matter of opinion.

Mr. Wedgwood

Is it not carrying appeasement too far to allow these people who are a danger to retain their arms?

Captain Margesson

That is not the view which is taken.

Mr. Shinwell

Is care being exercised to see that the arms will. not be used against us?

Captain Margesson

Yes, Sir.

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