HC Deb 16 February 1944 vol 397 cc156-7
11. Commander Sir Archibald Southby

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the ships of the Italian Navy which surrendered to the Allies are now taking part in the struggle against Germany or Japan.

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr

A.V. Alexander): All the surrendered Italian warships that can be usefully employed are now taking part in appropriate theatres of operations.

Sir A. Southby

Will the First Lord say exactly what he means by "usefully employed" when talking of the Italian Fleet? Now that this nation which has caused the loss of so many British lives is our Ally, would it not be possible to have the heavy Italian units put to some useful purpose against the Japanese or the Germans?

Mr. Alexander

If I were to describe the use of the Italian ships, I should be giving information to the enemy, which I cannot possibly do. All I can say is that the majority of the ships are being usefully employed.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Have all the Italian ships concerned now been released by the Spanish Government?

Mr. Molson

Are these ships which are in use against the enemy manned by Italian or by British crews?

Mr. Alexander

By Italian crews.

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