HC Deb 09 June 1942 vol 380 cc915-6
50. Mr. Stokes

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make available for Members of this House the report sent home from Singapore last autumn from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on the conditions then existing in Malaya?

Mr. Attlee

No, Sir.

Mr. Stokes

If my right hon. Friend will not make the report available, will he consider giving the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster an opportunity on the next suitable occasion to make a statement in the House?

Mr. Bellenger

Is the consistent refusal of the Government to give the House any information about what has happened overseas in Malaya and Singapore due to their desire to hide grievous mistakes on the part of high officials?

Mr. Attlee

No, Sir.

Sir A. Southby

If the Government are not prepared to publish the report, will they tell the House and the country the reason why they will not do so?

Mr. Attlee

A reply has already been made on that subject by the Prime Minister.

53. Mr. Stokes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements he proposes to make with regard to the wives and dependants of those civil members of the community in Malaya and Singapore who have been captured, or who are missing; and whether they will be treated in the same manner as wives and dependants of men in the Armed Forces?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood)

As I indicated in my answer to the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore), dependants of civilians captured by the Japanese in the Far East will be treated on the same general lines as have been accorded to dependants of British subjects detained in other territories overrun by the enemy or British subjects who have lost their livelihood in this country by enemy action. Analogous arrangements will cover those dependants who are in the Dominions. I do not think that the scheme for military personnel could suitably be applied to civilians, but I am considering how far the arrangements I have mentioned can be supplemented in special cases of individual need.

Mr. Stokes

May I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the machinery is now in motion? Is he aware that some of these people are in a grievous state, and are they able to get help?

Sir K. Wood

Perhaps my hon. Friend will send me any cases he has in mind. I am giving consideration to these matters.

Sir L. Lyle

Does that answer apply to Hong Kong?