HC Deb 29 June 1967 vol 749 c128W
55. Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

asked the Secretary of State for Defence on whose authority orders were given recently that British troops dealing with the mutiny in Aden should not use weapons heavier than general purpose machine guns.

Dame Irene Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, by whom and when, the instructions were given to United Kingdom forces in Aden to restrict the weapons used in the Crater area.

Sir T. Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions have been issued to British troops in Aden regarding the use of support weapons; and if the local commander in future engagements will now be authorised to use any degree of retaliatory fire judged necessary in an emergency, to avoid casualties to the men under his command.

Mr. Healey

The Commander-in-Chief has authority to determine, in consultation with the High Commissioner, what degree of force, if any, should be used in aid of the civil authority. Standing instructions make it clear that no more force must be used than is absolutely necessary to achieve the immediate military aim which is to help the civil authorities to re-establish or maintain law and order. It was decided that the use of heavy weapons in Crater on 20th June would almost certainly have led to further serious loss of life, including a great deal of risk to a large number of law abiding members of the population.

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