HL Deb 16 December 1948 vol 159 cc1176-8WA

asked His Majesty's Government, whether, in view of the need for strengthening and reorganising the defences of the Commonwealth in view of recent developments, it is intended to make arrangements in the near future for the recruitment and training of a substantial Colonial Army in East and West Africa; and whether an assurance can be given that the necessary steps to this end will be taken before the benefits of the military training given to Africans during the war have been entirely lost.


His Majesty's Government recognise the need for strengthening and improving the defence of all parts of the Commonwealth for which they are responsible, and they have constantly under review how this aim can be achieved. In particular, they have under consideration the extent to which African soldiers should be employed in time of peace. Already substantial Colonial Land Forces, considerably larger than those which were raised before the war, are maintained in the East and West African Dependencies, and full use is being made of the military training which enabled African troops to play so notable a part in the defeat of Italian armies in Somaliland and Abyssinia, in the liberation of Madagascar, and the ejection of the Japanese from Burma. The points to which the noble Lord has drawn attention will be borne in mind in framing the plans which are now under consideration.

House adjourned at three minutes before five o'clock till Tuesday, January 18.