§ 9. Mr. Gammans
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that the majority of the armoured cars being used by the security forces in Malaya were made during the last war and are short of spare parts, and that 1804 an undue percentage of them is always under repair; and how many new vehicles have been sent to Malaya during the past six months.
The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." The armoured vehicles are, however, all completely reconditioned; there is no scarcity of spare parts; and less than 10 per cent. are under repair. Sixty-one armoured vehicles have been sent out during the past six months for use by the police. The Malay Regiment obtains its vehicles and stores through military channels. There is some difficulty over spare parts for these vehicles, and repairs to them are subject to delay.
§ Mr. Gammans
How can the right hon. Gentleman reconcile this statement with the assurance that the Prime Minister gave the House, about 18 months ago, that Malaya was getting first priority in the provision of new equipment?
I explained that the position is very much better than might have been supposed by the hon. Member's Question.
§ Brigadier Medlicott
As these vehicles are presumably supplied by the Secretary of State for War, was it not inevitable that they would be short of nuts?
Air Commodore Harvey
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a great shortage of armoured vehicles on rubber estates, and will he see that the men who are earning the dollars for us get some protection by having these vehicles?