HC Deb 26 November 1945 vol 416 cc872-3
12. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when it is intended to withdraw British troops from Syria.

Mr. Noel-Baker

As my right hon. Friend said on Friday last, he is exchanging views with the French Government about the withdrawal of French and British troops from the Levant, but it is not yet possible to say when a decision will be reached.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

Does the Minister realise that it will be extremely unwise to withdraw these troops until the situation is more settled?

Mr. Gallacher

Does not the Minister agree that the Syrian people are quite capable of looking after themselves, and that the most desirable thing for this country is that we should get our men back here as quickly as possible?

Mr. Noel-Baker

We are discussing these matters with the French Government. I think the hon. and gallant Member is well informed about recent events in France. During the General Election and the formation of the new Administration it was not very easy for the French Government to deal with these things, but 1 hope that we shall now make rapid progress.