HC Deb 04 March 1946 vol 420 cc25-6W
121. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that on 17th January the Sudanese guards of the detention camp in Eritrea opened machine-gun fire on the defenceless Jewish detainees there without provocation, killing two men and wounding 12, and that the other military personnel were prevented by the conduct of the Soudanese troops from rendering first-aid treatment to the wounded; if he will cause an immediate independent investigation to be made; and what other action he has taken, or proposes to take, in relation to the matter.

Mr. Bellenger

A court of inquiry has already been held to investigate the incidents to which my hon. Friend refers. The trouble was started by a detainee throwing a stone at a Sudanese sentry, who thereupon shot at and wounded him. During the subsequent process of moving the injured man to hospital, in which British soldiers participated, a crowd of some 25 detainees attempted to force the gate and almost succeeded in doing so. The guard opened fire, killing two Jews and wounding others. The finding of the court of inquiry was that the action of the guard was fully justified by the circumstances. The General Officer Com manding the Troops, Sudan, after paying a personal visit to the camp agreed with the opinion of the court. An official communiqué giving the details of these incidents was published in Palestine on 13th February. I do not consider that any further investigation is necessary.