HC Deb 01 December 1948 vol 458 cc1986-7
20. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Dyaks were recruited for the antiterrorist campaign in Malaya; how many have been sent back, and why; and how many officers with knowledge of Dyaks were brought from Borneo in charge of them.

Mr. Creech Jones

Two hundred Dyaks were recruited for service in Malaya. Half of these have already returned to Sarawak and the remainder are due to follow by mid-December. They are returning because their engagements have expired and because the special units with whom they operated are now being disbanded. The answer to the last part of the Question is "Two."

Mr. Gammans

Is that the full and correct explanation of why the Dyaks have gone back? Is not it a fact that there was not enough Dyak-speaking officers recruited with them and that they have not been used in this difficult campaign to the best advantage?

Mr. Creech Jones

They have been used to the best advantage. The information of the hon. Member is not my information.

Mr. Platts-Mills

Is the correct and possibly the creditable explanation, that the Minister has realised what a disgraceful thing it was ever to import these barbarous people into this wretched Colonial war?

Mr. Creech Jones

I must utterly repudiate the suggestion contained in that Question. These men are trained soldiers who have been of great service to us; they were men with peculiar knowledge which could well be applied in the campaign in Malaya.

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