HC Deb 30 January 1956 vol 548 cc595-6
31. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to make a statement on the death of a British officer serving with the Arab Legion during the recent riots in Jordan.

Mr. Nutting

Lieut.-Colonel Patrick Lloyd, an officer of the Royal Artillery, seconded to the Arab Legion, was killed on 8th January whilst on duty with his troops during riots at Zerqa. An Arab Legion court of enquiry has established that he had ordered his troops to move from one part of the town to another, and that he became separated from them when fetching his Landrover, which was about 40 yards distant. Colonel Lloyd was shot through the head by a bullet from a small calibre firearm, discharged probably from a building or side alley nearby, and died instantly.

I should like to express the sympathy of Her Majesty's Government to the relatives of this gallant officer.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Will the Minister of State tell the House why there has been so much secrecy about what amounts to the murder of a British officer? Is this hush-hush policy deliberately devised so as not to prejudice the pending negotiations, and the giving of even more money to this somewhat unreliable force known as the Arab Legion in which this gallant officer was serving?

Mr. Nutting

There has been no secrecy that I know of in connection with Colonel Lloyd's death. I do not know to what the hon. and gallant Gentleman's supplementary question relates.

Sir J. Hutchison

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that, contrary to what has been indicated in the hon. and gallant Gentleman's supplementary question, the Arab Legion is by no means an unreliable force, and was largely responsible for the small amount of bloodshed and damage done in the recent riots?

Mr. Nutting

Indeed, I should like to take the opportunity of associating myself fully with my hon. Friend's supplementary question.