HC Deb 08 January 1942 vol 377 cc77-8W
Mr. Emrys-Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement in respect of the Senussis having regard to their co-operation with His Majesty's forces in the Western Desert?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir. The Sayid Idris el Senussio made contact with the British authorities in Egypt within a month of the collapse of France, at a time when the military situation in Africa was most unfavourable to us. A Senussi Force was subsequently raised from those of his followers who had escaped from Italian oppression at various times during the past twenty years. This force performed considerable ancillary duties during the successful fighting in the Western Desert in the winter of 1940–41, and is again playing a useful part in the campaign now in progress. I take this opportunity to express the warm appreciation of His Majesty's Government for the contribution which Sayid Idris el Senussi and his followers have made and are making to the British war effort. We welcome their association with His Majesty's Forces in the task of defeating the common enemies. His Majesty's Government are determined that at the end of the war the Senussis in Cyrenaica will in no circumstances again fall under Italian domination.