§ 12. Mr. John Paton
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has any statement to make about the policy of His Majesty's Government towards Burma.
§ Mr. Bevin
In the course of the meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London, the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and Ceylon met together to consider the 1829 Burmese Prime Minister's request for assistance in the early restoration of law and order in Burma. They are agreed in their desire to give whatever support they can to the Government of Thakin Nu, to the end that peace may be rapidly restored in Burma. Necessary machinery has been set up to ensure speedy implementation of this decision.
§ Mr. Stanley
Is this same machinery, which according to the right hon. Gentleman will consider the advisability of a loan to Burma, also considering the very large claims which dispossessed industries in this country have against the Burmese Government.
§ Mr. Walter Fletcher
Does not the Foreign Secretary realise that the most urgent need is to see that a flow of consumer goods gets into the hands of the rice producers in Burma so that the flow of rice so badly needed shall come out regularly?
§ Mr. Bevin
Well, I think that the rice exports up to now, notwithstanding the civil war, has been remarkable this year—far better than we expected. We are ready to assist in the distribution of consumer goods, or in supplying them or any other supplies. We felt it was essential that instead of having one Commonwealth Government appealing against 1830 another, we should co-ordinate their efforts, and we adopted this method.
§ Mr. Godfrey Nicholson
Would the right hon. Gentleman enlarge upon the machinery to which he referred? What sort of machinery? What does he mean exactly? Would he explain a little more what kind of machinery has been set up for this purpose?