Oral Answers to Questions — U.S. Troops, United Kingdom

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd November 1948.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Denis Pritt Mr Denis Pritt , Hammersmith North 12:00 am, 2nd November 1948

asked the Secretary of State for War how many U.S. troops are stationed in this country; in what areas; for how long it is proposed that they will remain; under what agreements they are here; what steps are being taken to arrange for their return home; how much land has been requisitioned or withheld from release for their accommodation; and what expenses fall upon this country in connection with their sojourn here.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

No United States troops are stationed in this country apart from a small number of members of the United States Army engaged on courses, liaison duties and the repatriation of United States dead. The rest of the Question does not, therefore, arise.

Photo of Mr Denis Pritt Mr Denis Pritt , Hammersmith North

Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that I put down this Question to the Minister of Defence and it was transferred to him, and that in ordinary parlance "troops" includes the Air Force, and would he answer about the United States Air Force?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

All that I can deal with is the Question on the Paper, which refers' to United States troops and not to the Air Force. Therefore, my answer to my hon. and learned Friend is that there are none.

Photo of Mr Denis Pritt Mr Denis Pritt , Hammersmith North

Could the right hon. Gentleman give some authority for the astonishing proposition that Air Force personnel are not "troops" in a Question addressed to the Minister of Defence?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

My impression was that my hon. and learned Friend referred to soldiers and not to airmen.

Photo of Mr Denis Pritt Mr Denis Pritt , Hammersmith North

Was the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Question was addressed to the Minister of Defence?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

The Question may have been addressed to my right hon. Friend, but it has come to me, and I have given an answer in accordance with the facts.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Might I ask whether the Minister of War would be willing to provide some legal advice to the hon. and learned Gentleman about the adequate drafting of a Question?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I would never dare to compete with the hon. Member opposite in giving advice of any kind.

Photo of Major Ernest Bramall Major Ernest Bramall , Bexley

Is it not a fact that United States Air Force personnel are members of the United States Army?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I was asked about "troops" and I thought "troops" referred to the personnel under my political control.

Photo of Mr Edward Fleming Mr Edward Fleming , Manchester, Withington

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all right-minded people in this country welcomed the arrival of these troops?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

That has nothing to do with this Question.