§ Mr. Pethick-Lawrence
(by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether he has any statement to make with regard 2242 to the Mission to the Far East, entrusted to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in July last?
§ Mr. Attlee
Yes, Sir. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has been appointed Resident Minister of Cabinet rank at Singapore for Far Eastern Affairs where he will preside over a War Council. He will serve under, and report directly to, the War Cabinet, and will perform functions in the Far East broadly similar to those performed by the Minister of State at Cairo. Thus, he will relieve the Commanders-in-Chief, so far as possible, of various extraneous responsibilities with which they have hitherto been burdened, and he will facilitate the settlement on the spot of certain matters which would otherwise have to be referred to several Departments at home.
§ Mr. Granville
In view of the criticism in the Dominion Press of the shortage of aircraft in Malaya, may I ask whether the Commonwealth of Australia were consulted before that appointment was made, and whether they agreed to it?
§ Mr. Attlee
The Government of Australia are represented on the Council over which my right hon. Friend presides.