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Levies, Aden (Duties)

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Air what is the present strength of the levies in Aden; what duties they perform; and whether he is satisfied that they fulfil their purpose.

The Aden levies assist in the local defence of the Protectorate, and in guarding the stations of the R.A.F. I am glad to assure my hon. Friend that they carry out these duties to the general satisfaction of all concerned. It would not be in accordance with present practice to disclose their strength.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in a recent disturbance in Aden these levies were not used, and that it seems likely that Arab levies are not to be used against Arabs? Is he further aware that there is a rumour that the number of levies is to be further increased?

I have not had any of the information of which my hon. Friend speaks, but if he will send it to me I will have it considered. My information is that up to the present these levies have done a good job.