HC Deb 27 April 1966 vol 727 cc684-5
21. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement concerning the recent bomb incident in a cinema at Aden and the extent of British casualties incurred.

Mr. Ennals

On 17th April a hand grenade was thrown into an open air film show at the camp at Beihan, near the Yemen border. British and Arabian Federation troops, as well as local employees, were watching the show, which was within the protected perimeter of the camp. The hand grenade exploded in front of the British troops. Thirty-three were injured; eight of them are still in hospital.

Sir G. Nabarro

Does this incident mean that the Minister will be increasing the advance measures in Aden, particularly in places of troop recreation where the terrorists seem to concentrate their attacks?

Mr. Ennals

There are already very adequate protective means. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] We must, of course, recognise that the situation creates dangers. We also recognise that the grenade which caused the damage was thrown from within the camp, presumably by someone already there. A thorough investigation is being conducted to find who was responsible.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Has there not been an increase in bloodshed, terrorism and danger for British subjects and their families since the announcement that Her Majesty's Government are going to dishonour their obligations and run out of Aden in 1968?

Mr. Ennals

This has been a problem, as the hon. Gentleman will know, for a considerable time and my right hon. Friend is very much aware of the gravity of the situation and is taking steps.

Mr. Shinwell

Have we not suffered far too many casualities in the past few years in Aden, and would not the best security be for us to get out of Aden?

Mr. Ennals

My right hon. Friend is fully aware of the decision taken to bring this about.