HC Deb 06 October 1942 vol 383 cc1059-60
25. Sir Leonard Lyle

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is satisfied that Army precautions make possible the fullest use of Bren and machine-gun fire against enemy aeroplanes operating on the tip-and-run system, and whether orders to fire are given in all such cases with the minimum of delay, including the avoidance of reference to higher officials?

Sir J. Grigg

Yes, Sir. But troops armed with machine-guns or other small arms and trained in anti-aircraft defence have instructions not to open fire on any aircraft unless it is clearly recognised as hostile by its appearance or judged to be hostile by its actions.

Sir L. Lyle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in a great many cases when there are these tip-and-run raids on the South coast, the light guns have been in a good position and ready to fire, and have not been able to fire owing to "red tape" regulations?

Sir J. Grigg

The "red tape" regulations, if any, are imposed by the Royal Air Force. I know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air has had under review the question of intercepting these tip-and-run raiders.