Oral Answers to Questions — German Atrocities (Retribu Tion Warnings).

– in the House of Commons on 30th July 1942.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the increase in the murder of hostages by the Germans and the recent threatened further extension of this practice in violation of international law, immediate steps will be taken, in consultation with the United States of America, to inform the Germans that if any further hostages are murdered because of acts with which they have had no direct connection instant reprisals will be taken by the destruction of German cities and towns?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs informed my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) on 1st July, His Majesty's Government are endeavouring by every means at their disposal to bring -home to the German people their ever-increasing responsibility for such barbarous actions committed in their name. The Germans receive salutary reminders of this responsibility whenever the Royal Air Force visits their cities and towns, but as I stated in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs on 18th June, our policy is to direct our bombing effort against Germany to the most effective points.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the recent threat by the German Chief of Police in Paris that the male members of any family suspected of sabotage will at once be arrested and put to death? Is it not desirable, as force is the only thing that appeals to Germans, to make an announcement such as I have indicated that a German village or town will be destroyed?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The hon. Member put that point in a previous Question, and it was explained that we want to use our Air Force in the most effective way, and that to go round seeking out small villages for destruction is not the way to operate the Air Force.