§ 12. Mr. de Freitas
asked the Secretary of State for Air to what extent instruction in any of the techniques of brainwashing is given by or to men or women serving in his Department or in the Royal Air Force and its auxiliaries and reserves.
§ Mr. de Freitas
Are we to take it that no instruction whatever is given to men in this Service in the technique of brainwashing so that they may be in a better position to resist attempts should they ever be captured?
There are two quite separate points. One is the so-called technique of brain-washing, with which we have nothing whatever to do. The other is normal instruction in resistance to interrogation. For this, we give lectures and films to aircrew so that they will know what they may expect.
§ Mr. Bowles
Can the Secretary of State deny that, during some invasion 1278 escape exercises in Yorkshire during the middle of last year, pilots of the Royal Navy and of the Royal Air Force were interrogated by the Army?
§ Mr. Bowles
Were they not brainwashed in the sense that they were forced to sit on a stool, stripped naked, searched, and so on, and that this can go on for two or three hours? Is not the truth of the matter that the purpose is not to destroy the brains of our own pilots and others, but to get them ready to do this to an enemy in the future?
No. There is absolutely no question of that. All our interrogation training is given in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Naturally, however, we have pointed out to aircrew who are liable to capture that an unscrupulous enemy might not keep to the Geneva Convention and that they might expect violent treatment. That is all we warn them about.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
Following the first part of the Minister's supplementary answer, can he give a categorical assurance that the techniques described by Professor Kennedy in his recent lecture were never used by the Royal Air Force anywhere in the world during the last war?