HC Deb 08 May 1940 vol 360 cc1203-4
15. Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information about the demonstration of workers in Singapore when three Chinese were shot, two being seriously wounded?

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)

While the police were engaged in preventing by peaceful methods the mustering of an unauthorised and therefore illegal political demonstration organised by Communists in Singapore on the 1st May, a picket of 20 police, with a European Inspector, were attacked by a crowd of some 400 Chinese armed with heavy billets of wood and bottles. A warning shot was ignored, and the crowd struck down a sergeant. Four revolver shots were then fired by the police in self-defence. Six Chinese were hit and wounded, two of these, I regret to say, fatally. In the course of the disturbance six police officers received injuries. The action of the police was successful in restoring order.

Mr. Paling

Have not these Chinese workers been asking for some time now for higher wages and better conditions, and will the right hon. Gentleman see to it that these applications for better conditions are not put aside as being Communist propaganda?

Mr. MacDonald

The Chinese workers have asked for increased wages and have received those increased wages. In this case the agitation was a purely political one.