HC Deb 18 February 1943 vol 386 c1942
63. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer with whom he has consulted about interests in the Far East, Malaya and other places; what are the proposals that have been made; has any assurance been given by him; and whether he will make a full statement?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood)

The hon. Member will no doubt have seen in the Press the correspondence which has taken place between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies and his predecessors and a Committee presided over by Sir John Hay on the subject of the loss and damage in the territories of Malaya, Burma, Hong Kong, Borneo and Sarawak. In this correspondence my right hon. Friend has referred to and confirmed the following assurance which was given to Colonial Governments in June last and applies also to Burma: It will be the general aim of His Majesty's Government after the war that, with a view to the well-being of the people and the resumption of productive activity, property and goods destroyed or damaged in the Colonial Empire should be replaced or repaired to such extent and over such a period of time as resources permit. If the resources of any part of the Colonial Empire are insufficient to enable this purpose to be achieved without aid, His Majesty's Government would be ready to give what assistance they can in conjunction with such Common fund or organisation that may be established for post-war reconstruction.

Mr. Astor

Will my right hon. Friend do everything he can to maintain our overseas air services so that after the war we shall be able to pay for the social services which we all desire for the people of this country?