§ 51. Mr. Fernyhough
asked the Secretary of State for War why British soldiers stationed in Singapore have been forbidden when off duty or when talking to Asian civilians to discuss Malayan independence.
§ Mr. F. Maclean
No such orders have been issued to British soldiers in Singapore. They have, however, been reminded of the limitations imposed by Queen's Regulations on political activities..
§ Mr. Fernyhough
I have here a cutting from a reliable newspaper—[Horn. MEMBERS "Which is it?"]— the Westminster Press— which indicates that the General Officer Commanding Singapore District —
§ Mr. Speaker
It would be more in order if the hon. Member asked his question first. We should then know that he was asking a question and not making a speech.
§ Mr. Fernyhough
If the brain of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) were as big as his mouth, he would be a very clever fellow. Is the Under-Secretary aware that this order was issued by the General Officer Commanding Singapore District? Would he not agree that when officers give lectures in which they give these instructions, that is treating grown-up soldiers as though they were simple children, and that instructions of this kind harm recruiting more than anything else does?
§ Mr. Maclean
I have already indicated that orders on the lines indicated by the hon. Member were not issued by General Tulloch, or anybody else.
§ Mr. Awbery
Is it not desirable that both soldiers and civilians in Singapore and Malaya should know as much as possible about independence, and that 1826 therefore discussion between civilians and our soldiers should be encouraged?