Loss of H.M.S. "prince of Wales" and "repulse."

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy. – in the House of Commons on 16th December 1941.

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Photo of Hon. John Stourton Hon. John Stourton , Salford South

asked the Prime Minister whether, at the time of the sinking of H.M.S. "Prince of Wales" and "Repulse," these ships had an adequate sea or land-based fighter escort?

Commander:

Sir Archibald Southby asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make a further statement regarding the circumstances of the loss of H.M.S. "Prince of Wales" and "Repulse"?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I regret that I am unable at present to add anything to the statements already made by the Prime Minister on this subject.

Photo of Hon. John Stourton Hon. John Stourton , Salford South

Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that in future our great capital ships will not be hazarded in battle without adequate air protection?

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Did the responsible Naval Staff at the Admiralty advise that these two ships should go out accompanied by an aircraft carrier, and, if so, who over-rode their expert advice?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

That is a hypothetical question. I have stated already that I cannot add anything to the statement given by the Prime Minister. I have no further information.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Will an opportunity arise to have this matter discussed in Public or in Secret Session?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I would ask my hon. and gallant Friend to await a statement which I have to make on the question.