Aircraft Action.

Oral Answers to Questions — Iraq. – in the House of Commons on 28th November 1922.

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The following question stood on the Paper in the name of Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY:

20. To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to statements in the Press to the effect that the usual method of enforcing the collection of taxes in Mesopotamia is by air raids and the dropping of bombs on the native villages and encampments; whether any notice is given before such raids in order that women and children may be placed in safety; how many such raids have been undertaken during the present year; and what are the total casualties inflicted by such raids during the present year to date?

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

The first part of the question was answered yesterday, but I would like an answer to the other two parts.

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

I made a full statement on this subject yesterday in answer to the hon. Member for Central Nottingham (Captain Berkeley). As I then explained, the Secretary of State is in communication with the High Commissioner and further details are expected.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

May I take it that there is no record in the War Office or in the Colonial Office of the number of raids that have actually taken place?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

There is no such record that I have been able to obtain.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Does not the hon. Gentleman think it necessary to keep supervision over these matters of reprisals?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

I have already-asked for statistics.

Photo of Dr William Chapple Dr William Chapple , Dumfriesshire

In determining policy in this matter, will the hon. Gentleman take into consideration that the nerve disease and distress to the whole population are often very much greater from a dread of air raids than the injury to life and limb, and will he look into this as—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech!"]

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

As I explained at the end of my answer yesterday, the whole policy will be reviewed by the Government.