HC Deb 18 December 1956 vol 562 c139W
94. Mr. Wigg

asked the Secretary of State for War what instructions or operation orders were issued to the officer commanding British troops at Akaba following the receipt of information by the General Officer Commanding Middle East Land Forces that Israeli mobilisation had begun.

Mr. Hare

None, except that, as a precautionary measure, certain routine reliefs should he deferred.

95. Mr. G. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for War what arrangements have been made, and what type of aircraft is being used, to ensure the rapid return to the United Kingdom of troops no longer required in the Middle East.

Mr. Hare

Within 72 hours of the date being fixed for troops to begin to return to this country, extra aircraft had been sent out both to Malta and to Cyprus and some had already arrived back in this country with troops. An extra weekly airlift of 500 from Malta and 500 from Cyprus has been arranged and it will continue for as long as it is needed. Britannias, Hermes, D.C.4s., Vikings and Dakotas have been used for this purpose. In addition, Shackleton aircraft of Royal Air Force Coastal Command will have brought back a large part of 16th Independent Parachute Brigade by 20th December. I am satisfied that everything has been done to bring home troops no longer needed as quickly as is practicable.