HC Deb 18 February 1942 vol 377 cc1779-80
21. Mr. Bower

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the allegations made by Mr. Elliott H. Simpson, an American importer who has recently returned to the United States of America from Penang, criticising the treatment of American citizens by the British authorities in connection with the evacuation arrangements; and whether, in view of the serious effects which these allegations are likely to have on Anglo-American relations, he will cause an immediate inquiry to be held?

Mr. Harold Macmillan

I have seen a Press report in that sense. But the information which we have been able to obtain does not confirm the accuracy of Mr. Simpson's story. It would indeed be a matter of deep regret if there was any failure under the pressure of events to show all possible consideration to the United States authorities at Penang at the time of evacuation. I am sure the House will realise that, the circumstances being what they are, an inquiry would be quite impracticable

Mr. Bower

Would the right hon. Gentleman see that the widest possible publicity is given to this Answer?

Mr. Macmillan

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Lipson

Would it not have been desirable to have issued immediately an official denial of these allegations?