HC Deb 23 February 1955 vol 537 c1247
1. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Minister of Defence what request he received from the Director of Operations in Malaya for reinforcements of Canberra jet bombers and of a squadron of the Parachute Regiment.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

The Canberra bombers were sent to Malaya to enable operational trials of the aircraft to be carried out in tropical conditions. The squadron of the Parachute Regiment will be a valuable reinforcement in the successful operations now proceeding in the deep jungle into which the hard core terrorists have been driven.

Mr. Thomson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Director of Operations has said that he was baffled by the War Office statement that he had made an urgent request for these reinforcements, and does not he think that the Government would be better occupied in trying to bring an end to the fighting on the lines suggested by responsible members of the Malayan and Chinese community in Malaya?

Mr. Macmillan

There may have been some confusion. The provision of the reinforcements did not reflect a reverse. The move was made in order to take prompt advantage of the improvement in the situation and to exploit a success.