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Military Transport Aircraft

Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1950

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35.

asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs if he will seek information from the United Nations as to how many military transport aircraft the United Nations' forces in Korea have employed since fighting began.

Is the Minister aware that there is some concern in the House because we keep asking Questions about our Forces in North Korea and how they are prospering under United Nations leadership, but are unable to get any information at all about the opposition they are meeting from Russian forces in the air?

Is the Minister aware that we learned in the House yesterday that these military transports had to be used even to supply our troops with warm clothing, and would he draw the attention of the Secretary of State for Air to the lack of British transport aircraft for any future operations?

It is not a Foreign Secretary's job to conduct the war. I merely have to get the information asked for.

On a point of order. I wonder whether, Mr. Speaker, you could give Members any advice on the situation which is causing us a great deal of anxiety? We have placed our Forces at the disposal of the United Nations and they are serving under a Commander-in-Chief responsible not to us but to the United Nations. The result is, according to your Ruling of, I think, the day before yesterday, that we can get no information, can ask no Questions and can make no criticism. Surely that is a situation which ought to be remedied. Is there any way in which it can be remedied?

I did not realise that I said that Members could ask no Questions. After all, I am not concerned with the answer which a Minister gives. All I can say is that although we are not quite in a state of war, we are, naturally, anxious about the Questions asked concerning our Armed Forces in Korea.

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I propose to raise the matter on the Adjournment.