Intelligence and Propaganda, Middle East.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 2nd June 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

asked the Secretary of State for War the qualifications of Major Talbot Rice for his post in charge of the Turkish section of intelligence at the War Office; what military experience he has; and whether he can speak Turkish?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

Major Talbot Rice is able to speak Turkish and was chosen for his present appointment because of his ability and knowledge of the various countries with which his section deals. He was a member of the Army Officers' Emergency Reserve and was called up in the summer of 1939.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

asked the Secretary of State for War how many civilians have been granted commissions since the outbreak of war, for intelligence and propaganda work connected with the Near and Middle East?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

No records are kept of civilians granted commissions for any particular theatre of war, and I regret therefore that I cannot give this information.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the services of Regular officers who had already been trained and made suitable for this work have been adequately employed?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

That point arises, I think, on the hon. Member's next Question.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

asked the Secretary of State for War how many officers, serving and retired, have, during the last 10 years, qualified for an extra grant for the study of Middle East languages, on the lines of the War Office pamphlet, Regulations relating to the Study of Foreign Languages; and how many of such officers are in employment in which these qualifications can be made adequate use of?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

Between 1930 and 1939, 17 officers qualified as first class and 14 as second class interpreters in one or other of the Middle East languages. Of the former, 9 are now serving in the Middle East, and of the latter 5 are serving in the Middle East, 2 have become casualties and one has retired. My hon. Friend will, of course, realise that it may easily happen that officers who have language qualifications may have qualifications in other fields which are even more valuable.