HC Deb 06 February 1939 vol 343 cc647-8W
Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister how many British ships were attacked by aircraft under the control of General Franco from 22nd December, 1938, to date; how many ships were sunk and how many damaged by such attacks; what is the total amount of damage done; how many men were killed and how many wounded; and what action has been taken?

Mr. Butler

Evidence indicates that during the period in question two British ships have been the objects of air attack and in these cases a protest has been lodged, accompanied by a request for an immediate investigation. Neither of these incidents resulted in any damage to the ships, their masters or crews. In the course of attacks on ports six ships have been sunk, one being subsequently raised again, and eight more are known to have been damaged. The reports received do not enable me to give any estimate of the total damage sustained, but I regret to say that at least four men have lost their lives and that one Non-Intervention Observer has been seriously wounded. The circumstances in which British ships were concerned in these attacks are under investigation.

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