HC Deb 15 June 1964 vol 696 cc920-1
19. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of British commitments and interests in South-East Asia, what discussions he had with the Governments of Japan and the Philippines on a settlement of the conflict between Indonesia and Malaysia.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I gave details of my discussions with the Government of Japan in reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin) on 11th May. After leaving Tokyo, I had discussions with President Macapagal of the Philippines, who has since made an important contribution to the agreement, announced on 30th May, for a further meeting of representatives of the Malaysian, Indonesian and Philippine Governments. I hope there will be opportunity to take this further in the debate tomorrow.

Mr. Brockway

Is the Foreign Secretary aware of how much we welcome the negotiations which have led to the calling of a conference of the Foreign Ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines? And can we have an assurance from Her Majesty's Government that, despite all the difficulties, which one recognises are frustrating, in view of the explosive situation throughout South-East Asia, the utmost efforts will be made to secure an agreement between these three countries?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. As I explained when I was out there, and as I am explaining to the House now, we certainly hope that this conference, not only of the Foreign Ministers but also what is known as the summit, will be successful. We cannot say more today as we do not know what the latest news is. I sincerely hope that we shall be able to find some easement of the situation in South-East Asia, but it must be on the basis of recognising the independence and integrity of Malaysia.

Miss Vickers

As the British have a great deal of property and interests in Indonesia, may I ask whether, during these discussions, Tunku Abdul Rahman will draw attention to that fact, and to the fact that we are honouring our obligations to him, in order to see whether we cannot get some of those things safeguarded?

Mr. Butler

I think that Tunku Abdul Rahman is aware of the situation, and I certainly think that my hon. Friend's question will make him more aware of it.