HC Deb 30 April 1958 vol 587 cc367-8
32. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the statements made to the New York Press by General Sir Gerald Lathbury, Director-General of Military Training, to the effect that independence has been granted to some African countries too quickly and that Africa is wide open to Communism, were made with his authority.

Mr. Soames

I have seen a Press agency report of these remarks but not a full account. General Lathbury is at present in Canada. I have asked him for details, and I will let the hon. Member have the full facts as soon as they are available.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is it to be assumed from the reply of the Secretary of State for War that these statements were made without his authority? If so, may we take it that he will ensure that serving generals do not give expression to personal opinions which can give rise to wide misunderstanding?

Mr. Soames

No, Sir; what I intended to imply was that I had not had a full report of what the general said.

Mr. M. Stewart

Which countries in Africa did the general have in mind? Was he, perhaps, referring to the Union of South Africa?

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