HC Deb 11 June 1942 vol 380 cc1243-4
47. Mr. Stokes

asked the Prime Minister whether he has yet received a report from the officer appointed at his request by General Wavell to collect information about the conditions precedent to the loss of Malaya; and when he expects to make a statement thereon to this House?

Mr. Attlee

The hon. Gentleman is mistaken in assuming that the report by the officer appointed by General Wavell was to be made to the Prime Minister. The officer was appointed to collect information for General Wavell, who has not yet reported. I must not be understood to suggest that when the report is received it will be suitable for publication.

Mr. Stokes

Surely it was the Prime Minister's intention to have the report sent home in order to enable him to make a constructive and comprehensive statement in the House, and when is the report likely to be received?

Mr. Attlee

I have already answered that question.

Mr. Bellenger

Is any statement to be made to the House after the information is collected?

Mr. Attlee

My hon. Friend had better wait until we have it. We cannot make a statement on a report which we have not received.

49. Sir H. Williams

asked the Prime Minister what was the staff, service and civilian, respectively, of the Department of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when at Singapore and the aggregate expenditure of his Department at Singapore during the period of its existence?

Mr. Attlee

The staff with which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster left England in August, 1941, consisted of a military adviser and a private secretary. The Mission was joined in the United States by a principal adviser, who was at that time employed by the Ministry of War Transport. Two additional members joined the Mission at Singapore—one a member of the Diplomatic Service who was then serving at the British Embassy at Chungking and the other a member of the Malayan Civil Service. All these members of the Mission received the pay and allowances to which they were entitled in the services to which they belonged. There was also a small clerical staff—principally recruited in Singapore. Owing to the loss of documents in transit, the final accounts of the Mission are not yet available.

Sir H. Williams

Could not the right hon. Gentleman make a guess at how much was spent?

Mr. Shinwell

Did the personnel and expenditure lead to any report, and, if so, could we have it?

Mr. Attlee

The appointment of a staff does not necessarily lead to a report.

Mr. Shinwell

Do we understand from that answer that no report has been received from the Chancellor of the Duchy?

Mr. Attlee

My hon. Friend's question was quite a different one. He asked "whether the fact of the appointment of the staff led to a report? I said that the appointment of the staff does not necessarily lead to a report.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

Did the staff help to make a report?

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