HC Deb 18 May 1949 vol 465 cc425-6
45. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Minister of Defence what is the estimated additional cost incurred in the reinforcement of the garrison at Hong Kong.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

It would be premature to attempt accurately to estimate the cost of the proposed reinforcement.

Mr. Hughes

Could the Minister tell us that measures already taken do not involve considerable expenditure, or are we to have a Supplementary Estimate of the kind to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer strongly objected in the Budget?

Mr. Alexander

Additional movements always cost money. On the question of whether there will be a Supplementary Estimate, the hon. Member must wait and see how the budget for the year turns out.

Mr. Eden

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that expenditure of this order in present circumstances might be a very good economy indeed?

Mr. McGovern

Will the Minister of Defence see that no expenditure is spared on the defence of British men, women and children in this area?

47. Mr. Gammans

asked the Minister of Defence to what extent reinforcements of the garrison of Hong Kong are to be drawn from that of Malaya.

Mr. Alexander

The reinforcements now under orders for Hong Kong are being drawn from Malaya only to the extent of two small supporting arm units from the Army and one Spitfire squadron. The latter has been replaced in Malaya by aircraft from Ceylon.