HC Deb 12 March 1942 vol 378 cc1194-5
45. Sir H. Williams

asked the Prime Minister whether a report has now been received from Major-General Gordon Bennett; and when he proposes to make a statement on the loss of British Malaya?

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

A short telegraphic report has been received from Major-General Gordon Bennett, which does not add greatly to our previous knowledge. In these circumstances, my right hon. Friend does not intend to make any further statement at the present time.

Sir H. Williams

Since nearly a month has elapsed since this greatest disaster in military history, and since this General was holding a command at the time of the surrender and must be familiar with the great mass of the facts, is it not time the Government took the opportunity of obtaining a full report?

Mr. Eden

As I say, the only report we have received up to date is a short telegraphic report. I do not by any means exclude examination and discussion as soon as fuller information is at our disposal, but I do not think it would be of great benefit to have that discussion until we have the information.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Was not Dunkirk a worse evacuation?

57. Mr. Stokes

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he has any report to make to this House regarding the events in Malaya and Singapore from the time of the first attack by the Japanese until his own departure for home?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Duff Cooper)

No, Sir, not at present.

Mr. Stokes

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the Government took sufficiently strong action on the reports which he sent home?

Mr. Cooper

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Shinwell

May I ask my right hon. Friend what he is doing just now?