Libya Operations (Inter Service Communications).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 26th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that in recent Libya operations detective inter-Service tactical communications resulted in instances of attacks by our aircraft upon our land forces; and whether he can undertake to investigate the cause of these mistakes?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I have made inquiries, and I am informed that no instances of attacks by our aircraft on our own land forces during recent Libyan operations have been reported to the War Office. If the hon. Member has any information, I will be glad if he will give it to me. On the general question, I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer which my right hon. Friend the Dominions Secretary gave yesterday in reply to Questions on this subject.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that our methods of communication are totally inadequate and that a proper system does not exist, and, if I give instances, will they be properly examined?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I will undertake to go into them myself, and that is why I asked the hon. Gentleman to give me any information.

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

Is there any means by which our Fighting Forces can be protected from the danger which must accrue to them by conveying this sort of information to the enemy?

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

May we know whether there are any means whereby members of the Fighting Forces who make complaints can have the assurance that they will be given some attention?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

So far as it may lay within my power, if hon. Members will tell me anything about them. I shall be glad to be of service.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

In view of the serious nature of the allegations, will it be possible, after investigations have been made, for a statement to be made in this House or elsewhere?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I have already stated the position of His Majesty's Government. It is for those who say that there is information to bring it forward.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

On a point of Order. Questions are frequently answered to the effect that the Minister has no information, and he puts the onus on the Member to supply it. Surely, if the Minister asks in his Department, he can get it. If it is known to us, it is known to the Department?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

It is a question of stating facts, which must be substantiated by the Member himself.

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

Is there any reason why these questions should not be put privately to the Minister?