HL Deb 21 July 1931 vol 81 cc1002-4WA

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India: Whether he will state what troops have been on trans-Frontier active service in connection with the protection of Peshawar and district and on the Khajuri Plain; how long any of these units have been so engaged and what casualties have been incurred; is it a fact that these operations are not intended by His Majesty's Government to count as active service; and, if so, whether, in view of their important nature and the casualties experienced, he will state what are the grounds for this decision.


The ground troops employed in the operations that took place on the Frontier last winter consisted of three infantry brigades with ancillary troops. In addition, a wing of the Royal Air Force, two Army co-operation squadrons andpersonnel from other Air Force units were engaged. The ground troops moved into the area of operations on the 17th October, 1930, and were subsequently withdrawn by stages: one brigade in January, the second by the 13th March and the third by the 23rd March, 1931. Two battalions and three sections of Indian artillery have been left in occupation. The total casualties on the North-West Frontier for the more extended period from the 1st April, 1930, to the 31st March, 1931, were as follows:—British Army, 7 British other ranks killed, and 1 officer and 20 other ranks wounded; Indian Army, 2 British officers, I Indian officer and 18 other ranks killed, and 2 Indian officers and 55 other ranks wounded; Royal Air Force, 1 officer and 5 airmen killed. The Government of India notified the area of the operations in the neighbourhood of the Khajuri Plain as a field service area on the 8th November, 1930, and specified at various times the concessions held to be appropriate to service in the area; and a list of awards granted in respect of these operations was published in the London Gazette of the 26th June, 1931. If the noble Lord in referring to "active service" has in mind the question of the grant of a medal for these operations, that matter is now under consideration.

House adjourned at ten minutes past seven o'clock.