HC Deb 10 May 1950 vol 475 cc369-70
40. Professor Savory

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will stop altogether the bombing of the island of Heligoland in order to enable the 2,000 Frisian people to return to their native island.

Mr. Crawley

No, Sir.

Professor Savory

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the continued bombing of this island is contrary to international law, and has created profound indignation throughout Denmark, Germany and the United States? For Heaven's sake, find some other target.

Mr. Sorensen

Is it not a fact that this continuous bombing is simply stirring up the debris of previous bombings? Is there any point in it now?

Mr. Crawley

The answer is that it is very difficult to find anywhere to try out high explosive bombs. Heligoland is most suitable.

Mr. Yates

Will the continuance of this bombing prevent people from returning to their homes?

Mr. Crawley

Yes, it will, but two things should be recognised. First, the island is a mass of rubble; second, there was a naval base there which afforded a living to the people, but since it has been abolished only a very small proportion of these people would be able to find a living.

Professor Savory

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that 2,000 Frisians want to return to their native island, where they can do their fishing and provide accommodation for the numerous visitors who used to visit the island?

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Will the Minister bear in mind that the efficient training of Bomber Command is of much more importance than the convenience of a few Germans?

Professor Savory

They are Frisians, not Germans.