HC Deb 05 April 1950 vol 473 cc1182-3
30. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement defining the exact duties of Sir Harold Briggs and to what extent he has executive control over the military and police forces in Malaya.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Sir Harold Briggs will be responsible for the preparation of general plans for offensive action and for the allocation of tasks to the various components of the security forces. In consultation with the heads of the police and Fighting Services he will decide priorities between these tasks and the general timing and sequence of their execution.

With regard to the second part of the Question, General Briggs will not be in direct command of troops or police. In consultation with the Commissioner of Police and the heads of the Fighting Services he will decide the tasks that the forces employed on anti-bandit operations are to carry out, but the Commissioner and the heads of the Fighting Services will, of course, remain responsible for the administration and discipline of their forces and for aspects of their work not directly connected with the anti-bandit campaign. Various matters regarding his duties and responsibility will be decided in Malaya.

Mr. Gammans

Does that mean that General Briggs has executive responsibility for taking action against the bandits, but not executive control over the police or troops?

Mr. Griffiths

It is a civil appointment. He has responsibility to the Commissioner. His task will be to co-ordinate the activities of the police and the Fighting Services.

Mr. Gammans

What does the word "co-ordination" mean exactly in that connection?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Could the Minister tell us what is this gentleman's salary?

Mr. Griffiths

Not without notice.

Mr. Oliver Stanley

Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give some rather fuller explanation of this important subject during the discussion tomorrow?

Mr. Griffiths

Yes, Sir.

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