HC Deb 08 January 1942 vol 377 cc62-3W
Major Milner

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the scorched earth policy has been adopted by the Government; and what instructions have been issued on the subject, and on what dates, to the British command in the Malay Peninsula?

Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can make any statement in regard to the destruction of buildings, material and machinery in Malaya to prevent these falling into the hands of the enemy?

Sir E. Grigg

The "scorched earth" policy has been and will continue to be pursued in the Far East to the maximum extent that is practicable, except for small supplies of food and water sufficient to meet the immediate necessities of the static native population in Malaya. The denial of resources to the enemy in the Far East has long been the policy of His Majesty's Government, and instructions confirming this policy were issued as recently as 24th December, 1941.