HL Deb 25 February 1965 vol 263 cc919-20

3.20 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions have been held with the Prime Minister of Japan regarding mediation in the conflict between Indonesia and Malaysia.]


My Lords, the Government of Japan have from time to time indicated their willingness—as indeed have other Governments in the area—to assist in any way practicable in helping to bring about an end to the problem caused by Indonesian aggression against Malaysia. The Japanese authorities have kept us informed of their thinking on this. I understand that the Malaysian Government have welcomed this Japanese attitude. But attempts at mediation have hitherto been thwarted by President Soekarno's insistence on his right to continue military aggression during the period of any talks. In all their discussions with the Japanese Government, Her Majesty's Government have shown that they associate themselves with the Tungku's readiness to welcome this Japanese interest and initiative.


My Lords, may I thank my noble friend for that reply? Has his attention been drawn to the statement made yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, that the Malaysian Government have started talks with the Japanese Government in mediation of this dispute and that on Monday the Malaysian Prime Minister welcomed the efforts of Japan, and indeed of Pakistan, and, more importantly, that the Indonesian Foreign Minister said that Indonesia is willing to accept Japan as a mediator in the dispute? Is the noble Lord aware that, while none of us will in any way condone Indonesia's attacks on Malaysia, many of us desire a political solution to this confrontation?


I can assure the noble Lord that Her Majesty's Government are as anxious as anybody that there should be a peaceable and just solution to this problem, and it can be on only a political and not on a military basis. We sincerely hope that any mediation which is taking place will be successful and that any talks which may take place will also be successful, and that they will be assisted by the Indonesian Government in fact in stopping all forms of aggression, not only during the period of the talks but afterwards as well.