§ 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 1183 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. Oliver Stanley
Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give some rather fuller explanation of this important subject during the discussion tomorrow?