HC Deb 12 February 1942 vol 377 cc1584-5
49. Mr. Riley

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the widespread anxiety concerning the course of events in Libya; whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into recent reverses, and a statement made to Parliament arising out of such an inquiry?

Mr. Attlee

I do not understand what sort of inquiry my hon. Friend desires. It would, of course, be impossible to make report to Parliament while operations in Libya are continuing.

Mr. Riley

Does the right hon. Gentle man appreciate that the public is very touch concerned and is anxiously await ing and expecting some adequate explanation?

Mr. Attlee

It is quite impossible to have a general investigation and a public statement on the course of a campaign when operations are still in progress.

Sir Herbert Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman refresh his memory by examining the circumstances in which a Royal Commission was appointed on the campaign in Mesopotamia before the campaign was concluded?

Mr. Attlee

The inquiry in the case of Mesopotamia was a matter concerned with the medical services. The inquiry into the Galipoli campaign took place after evacuation, when the campaign was ended.

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