Skip to main content

Aden (Frontier Incidents)

Volume 530: debated on Monday 19 July 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a further statement on the present situation on the frontiers of Aden.

Since the account which my right hon. Friend gave on 14th July in reply to the hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. Braine), the Governor has reported that the raids continue. In the first fortnight of this month 28 incidents have occurred in areas of the Protectorate where subversive Yemeni influence is known to be concentrated, and in at least four cases Yemeni regulars and irregulars have raided or fired on the Protectorate from Yemen territory.

Searching inquiry has shown the Yemeni allegation that R.A.F. planes have been flying low over Beidha to be completely unfounded. No R.A.F. planes have flown over Yemen territory; civil aircraft sometimes fly close to Beidha in circling to land at Mukeiras, but they have been doing this for years and never practise low flying. If this is what the Yemen Government refer to, their description is a travesty of the facts.

Will the right hon. Gentleman say what action the Government are taking to deal with these alleged acts of aggression?

As my right hon. Friend informed the House on 14th July, we are hoping that talks will take place between the Yemeni official concerned, the Amil of Beidha, and our own frontier authorities on the subject, but the Amil has been ill and the talks have, therefore, had to be postponed. We now hope that the Amil will shortly be able to initiate the talks. Meanwhile, my right hon. Friend is considering what else can be done to restore tranquillity.

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the frontier is properly demarcated?

It is demarcated except for three areas. It was last demarcated in 1951, but those areas were left over for further demarcation. Her Majesty's Government have repeatedly asked the Yemeni Government to agree to negotiations on those areas, but so far they have refused to do so.

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that if a Labour Government had been faced with this problem they would have been undergoing severe pressure from the opposite side of the House to take more drastic action?