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Rome (Bombing)

Volume 389: debated on Wednesday 19 May 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can give an assurance that no agreement, explicit or tacit, exists that Rome shall not be bombed; and whether, in view of the importance of Rome as a railway centre and the number of targets of military importance in and around the city, the bombing of Rome will be included in the aerial offensive against Italy?

No assurance or agreement exists of any kind whatever that Rome shall not be bombed. On the contrary, as stated to the House on previous occasions, we shall not hesitate to bomb Rome if the course of the war should render such action convenient and helpful.

May I ask my right hon. and gallant Friend whether, in view of the known accuracy of our bombers, he will give instructions that they should avoid the antiquities as far as possible, as in the case of Cologne Cathedral?

I have nothing to add to the reply which I have given en this matter.