HC Deb 05 December 1963 vol 685 cc1335-6
1. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what military action has been requested by the Government of Malaysia as a result of the actions of the Government of Indonesia.

The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and for the Colonies (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

At the request of the Malaysian Government, British forces are being made available to support Malaysia in combating Indonesian intervention in Sarawak and Sabah.

Mr. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that hon. Members on both sides of the House will welcome this added demonstration of British support for Malaysia? Will he give an undertaking that, if possible, further encouragement will be given to other Commonwealth countries, depending on Malaysia accepting this philosophy, to take part in the defence of Malaysia?

Mr. Sandys

I imagine that my hon. Friend has in mind Australia and New Zealand in particular. Both these countries have expressed their full support for Malaysia in unmistakable terms. Their active participation in defence operations is, of course, a matter for decision between the Australian and New Zealand Governments and the Government of Malaysia.

Mr. Bottomley

We welcome the right hon. Gentleman's statement but is it not possible for him to do something with our allies generally to get the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia together with a view to calling a halt to this trouble?

Mr. Sandys

This is primarily a matter for the Governments concerned, and I think that we have to be a little careful about intervening in this situation. I have no doubt that Malaysia would like to have normal, neighbourly relations with both Indonesia and the Philippines, but it seems to me that the first step is for Indonesia to recognise the existence of Malaysia and to stop organising active hostilities against her.

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