HC Deb 04 February 1948 vol 446 cc1785-6
9. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether in view of the decision of the Malayan Governments to revoke civil liability for volunteer and defence services and the general dissatisfaction aroused over the substitute of insurance grants, he will make a statement indicating on what precise basis these grants are being paid; and whether a scale will be promulgated in order to clarify the position.

Mr. Creech Jones

When payment of civil liability awards was discontinued in 1942, dependants of members of the Malayan Volunteers and Local Defence Corps were granted, in lieu, family allowances at the rates applicable to members of the Regular Forces. The grants to which the hon. Member refers are made additionally and not in substitution for family allowances. They follow the lines of the war service grants made to members of the Regular Forces in respect of arrears of insurance premiums. I see no need for a special promulgation of the scales of those grants.

Mr. Dc la Bère

In view of the great importance of this matter I shall exercise a self-denying ordinance and not ask my usual supplementary question, but will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to see me afterwards on this matter?

Mr. Vernon Bartlett

Is it not a fact that there is quite an astonishing degree of unanimity between these different communities and that a great debt of gratitude is owing to Mr. Malcolm MacDonald for his work during his Governor-Generalship?

Mr. Creech Jones

I would like to pay tribute to the Governor-General and to all those who have assisted in making this settlement possible.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that on 29th July last year he specifically held out hopes that we should have a Malayan Debate about this and other important matters, and, therefore, will he take steps to implement that undertaking?

Mr. Creech Jones

I am not sure that the undertaking was so specific as the hon. Member declares, but in any case it is a matter for consultation with the Leader of the House.

Mr. Fletcher

May I remind the right hon. Gentleman of what he said: I hope that after the Recess it may be possible … for an opportunity to be found for the Committee or the House to make observations on these arrangements."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th July, 1947; Vol. 441. c.269.] Will the right hon. Gentleman please take the necessary steps to implement that?

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