Operations, Egypt (Commander-in-Chief's Despatch)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw 12:00 am, 18th December 1957

asked the Secretary of State for War if he has considered the unpreparedness for action of the Army in the operations in Egypt as stated in the despatch of the Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

I do not accept the right hon. Member's interpretation of the despatch. I have nothing to add to the Answers given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence on 13th and 20th November.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been called to that portion of Part 4 of the Commander-in-Chief's despatch which states that the Royal Air Force was the most easily prepared for action, and does he accept by implication that that seems to say that the Army was not so prepared for action?

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

As I have already told the right hon. Gentleman, I do not accept the implications he gives to this. I have already explained that of course we are studying the whole operation carefully and will take advantage of any lessons we can learn from it.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Does the right hon. Gentleman propose at some future time, in answer to a Question put in this House, to give the House some information as to the lessons he and his advisers have learned from the operation as outlined in the despatch?

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

I will consider what the right hon. Member has said. I think probably the Army Estimates would be the appropriate time.