HC Deb 28 April 1966 vol 727 cc941-2
34. Mr. Evelyn King

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many incidents involving injury or loss of life to British personnel have taken place in Aden or the Federation in the past 12 months.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Frederick Lee)

In the 12-months' period ending on 26th April there were 60 incidents in Aden and 34 elsewhere in the Federation involving injury or loss of life to British personnel.

Mr. King

Is not this the direct and foreseeable result of announcing our departure from Aden two years in advance? Has not that decision dismayed our friends and encouraged our enemies to violence? If we are to leave Aden, is it not better done as speedily as possible?

Mr. Lee

No, Sir. It is mainly due to a recent intensification of U.A.R. support for terrorism, which is being organised and directed by the Egyptian intelligence service from the Yemen.

Mr. Fisher

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that there has also been a very large number of murders and other outrages of loyal Arab civilians? As long as Aden remains a Colony, is not the obligation on the right hon. Gentleman to maintain law and order in a British territory? What is he doing to ensure that this is done more effectively?

Mr. Lee

We accept that we have these responsibilities. In addition to the measures which were described in the House by my right hon. Friend the then Colonial Secretary on 18th November last, in view of the increase in terrorist incidents following the lull in January and February, special escort and other protective arrangements have been introduced for otherwise vulnerable persons who have to enter very sensitive areas.

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