§ Mr. LEACH
It is impracticable without considerable labour to state precisely the cost of the air squadrons employed in Iraq and Palestine, to which I assume my hon. Friend refers. The total cost of defence in the Middle East falling on Imperial funds will be found in Class V.4 of the Civil Service Estimates. Reduction in this expenditure has been continuous in the past, and further reductions are in prospect. The date on which our liabilities in Iraq will cease is not a matter for the Air Ministry.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether any air machines have dropped bombs for the purpose of compelling the payment of taxes in Iraq?
I will answer this question. The reply is in the negative. No bombe have been dropped for any such purpose. I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the statements on the subject made on behalf of the late Government on the 27th November, 1922, the 19th, 20th, and 22nd February, and the 1st March, 1923. There has been no change in the position since these statements were made. Explicit instructions on the subject were sent to the High Commissioner on the 23rd February, 1923, and I am satisfied that they have been strictly carried out.1027W