HC Deb 01 June 1938 vol 336 cc2071-2W
Mr. Lansbury

asked the Prime Minister whether he will order a White Paper to be prepared setting out the reasons which caused His Majesty's Government to establish by Order in Council, issued in March, 1937, a British Protectorate over extensive territory in Southern Arabia known as Hadhramaut, and also give an account of military and aerial operations which have been undertaken before and since the Protectorate was proclaimed; the number of casualties and, in particular, whether any children and women were killed on both sides and the destruction of property; and will he also have a map prepared and placed in the Library of the House showing the situation and extent of the territories involved?

Mr. M. MacDonald

His Majesty's Government have been for many years in treaty relations with the Rulers in the Aden Protectorate, which includes the Hadhramaut. So long as Aden was a part of the Indian Empire, jurisdiction in the adjacent areas under the protection of His Majesty's Government was exercised under the Indian (Foreign Jurisdiction) Order in Council; but when Aden became a Colony it was necessary to provide otherwise for jurisdiction in the Protectorate, and the Aden Protectorate Order, 1937, was accordingly issued. I see no reason for the issue of a White Paper to explain this normal administrative change.

The air operations which have been found necessary from time to time in the Protectorate have no connection whatever with the issue of the Aden Protectorate Order, and have been directed solely to the maintenance of law and order, in co-operation with the local Rulers. I would refer the right hon. Gentleman in this connection to the statements made in the House on the 8th and 23rd February last in reply to questions by the hon. Members for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson) and Kingswinford (Mr. A. Henderson). The total number of casualties from air operations in the years 1936 and 1937 amounted, according to the information furnished to me by the Governor, to three killed and four slightly injured. These included two women who had returned to a proscribed area contrary to warnings after it had been evacuated. One was killed and the other slightly injured. In addition two Tribal Guards and one tribesman were killed in ground fighting.

No map is available showing in detail the boundaries of the Protectorate, which have not yet all been finally determined.

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