HC Deb 18 February 1958 vol 582 c1031
45. Mr. Rankin

asked the Prime Minister what consultations he had with the Government of Singapore before formulating the Government's defence policy in the East.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

Defence policy in the East is a matter for Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Governor of Singapore is naturally consulted on aspects of policy which directly affect the colony.

Mr. Rankin

May I first offer my sympathy to the Prime Minister on the bad news he got on his return, when he discovered that his party was at the bottom of the poll at Rochdale? May I further ask him if he agrees that, in view of the fact that our defence policy in the Far East is now centred on Singapore, the political foundations for that military setup ought to be on secure ground? Does he not realise that, within a year, perhaps at the next General Election, the People's Action Party will have swept the present Government of Singapore out of the road—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."]—and has he thought about that possibility?

The Prime Minister

I can only say that the Government of Singapore at present have no responsibility for defence. Of course, when there are measures to be taken to implement defence policy which affect the responsibilities of elected Ministers in Singapore, they are consulted by the Governor.