Oral Answers to Questions — Libya (Military Operations).

– in the House of Commons on 12th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the widespread anxiety concerning the course of events in Libya; whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into recent reverses, and a statement made to Parliament arising out of such an inquiry?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I do not understand what sort of inquiry my hon. Friend desires. It would, of course, be impossible to make report to Parliament while operations in Libya are continuing.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

Does the right hon. Gentle man appreciate that the public is very touch concerned and is anxiously await ing and expecting some adequate explanation?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

It is quite impossible to have a general investigation and a public statement on the course of a campaign when operations are still in progress.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Will the right hon. Gentleman refresh his memory by examining the circumstances in which a Royal Commission was appointed on the campaign in Mesopotamia before the campaign was concluded?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The inquiry in the case of Mesopotamia was a matter concerned with the medical services. The inquiry into the Galipoli campaign took place after evacuation, when the campaign was ended.