Oral Answers to Questions — British and United States Forces (Interchange of Personnel)

– in the House of Commons on 8th September 1942.

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Photo of Sir William Anstruther-Gray Sir William Anstruther-Gray , Lanarkshire Northern

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider utilising the advantages to be derived both in training, co-operation and friendship from short visits or attachments of officers and non-commissioned officers of the British and American Forces to similar units in all three Services, apart altogether from the appointment of permanent liaison officers?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

Yes, Sir. Visits of British naval officers and petty officers to American units in British waters have taken place. British Army officers and N.C.O.s are attached to American Field Force formation and vice versa. Personnel from the American Forces attend nearly all the courses of instruction run by the British Army in this country. There is also a considerable interchange of Air Force personnel for purposes of mutual assistance.

Photo of Sir William Anstruther-Gray Sir William Anstruther-Gray , Lanarkshire Northern

Is the Prime Minister aware that, as far as attachments are concerned, this is not being done on a very large scale and that nothing is more important than that the officers of both sides should learn to appreciate the methods of their Allies?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I should think it probable that the Question of my hon. and gallant Friend and the answer which has been given will lead to an extension of the scale on which this process is being applied.