39. Mr. Creech Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement on the trouble in the eastern zone of the Aden Protectorate.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
As the statement is necessarily long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Following is the statement:The recent trouble in the Eastern Aden Protectorate, confined to the Protected State of Mukalla, is connected with long-standing difficulties between Bedouin camel owners and drivers of motor transport along the two main roads leading from the ports of Mukalla and Shihr to the interior of the Hadhramaut. Before 1947 the whole of this carrying trade was by camel transport, but this monopoly has been disturbed since then by the advent of lorries, by which local merchants are able to send their goods more quickly, cheaply and reliably. The Government of the Mukalla State have tried to regulate the traffic so as to give a fair share to each form of transport. Agreement was reached with the Bedouin camel owners plying on the eastern of the two roads, but on the west road armed tribesmen who remained dissatisfied recently blocked the road at a point about thirty miles from Mukalla, and a detachment of ninety officers and men of the Mukalla State forces was temporarily isolated beyond the road block.Action was taken by Mukalla State ground forces, supported, after opposition had become stronger, by the Royal Air Force, and the road was cleared and the detachment relieved. Casualties among the Bedouins are reported to have been one killed and three wounded, and in the Mukalla forces three slightly wounded. The tribes who blocked the road have dispersed, and the leader of some of them has declared his intention of proceeding to Mukalla to make his submission to the Sultan.There is no connection between this incident and the trouble that has been occurring in the Western Aden Protectorate.