HC Deb 20 June 1951 vol 489 cc494-5
27. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement about the military manpower contribution of the Colonial Empire to the collective defences of the democracies.

Mr. Dugdale

I can add nothing to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War and myself in the debate on 16th March last. Colonial Territories make a substantial contribution in manpower towards collective defence by their assumption of responsibility for their own internal security. Forces maintained for that purpose are capable of expansion in war, and of mutual reinforcement in emergencies.

Sir I. Fraser

Has the right hon. Gentleman ever seen the K.A.Rs. or, for example, the Basutoland contingent on the job in a war, and does he realise how valuable these men are, how they enjoy military service, and how much we need them?

Mr. Dngdale

Certainly I am fully aware of their value.

Mr. Paget

Has my right hon. Friend taken any further steps with regard to providing facilities for ex-R.A.F. personnel in Jamaica to re-join?

Mr. Dugdale

That is another Question which I cannot answer without notice.

Mr. Gammans

Is not the Minister aware that in the statement to which he refers that was made by his right hon. Friend it was promised that much more attention would be paid to this matter and that a more comprehensive report on the possibilities of colonial manpower for the common defence of the Empire would be given? Has he any further statement to make other than the one he has now made?

Mr. Dugdale

No, Sir. It has been stated that my right hon. Friend is undertaking a detailed examination of the possibility of making extended use of African troops.

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