HC Deb 01 March 1946 vol 419 cc442-4W
Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of the effects of the lack of health, hospital, educational and other social services in Malaya and Singapore; when the civil administration is likely to be reconstituted and start work in Malaya and Singapore; what action he is taking to make available in Singapore hospital accommodation which is now in occupation of S.E.A.C.; and what progress is being made in recruiting European staff for the medical service and securing the necessary supplies of medical equipment, including textbooks and scientific publications.

Mr. Creech Jones

Malaya's social services have suffered most serious neglect during the Japanese occupation and the present Military Administration is working strenuously to restore these services in the face of considerable difficulties. It should be possible to announce shortly the date of the handover from Military to Civil Administration. A Board has been set up to co-ordinate the essential requirements of accommodation in Singapore of the Services and of the civil authorities and, in meeting the needs of the latter, to ensure that the speediest measures are taken for the progressive hand-over of civil property by the Services. These measures will accord a high degree of priority to hospitals.

As regards the last part of the Question, medical officers, who were interned, are returning, as they become fit, for a short tour of service. In addition, a number of doctors have been and are being selected for appointment to the Colonial Medical Service for duties in Malaya. Others have been engaged on short term contracts. Supplies of medical equipment, including text-books and scientific publications, have been steadily going forward under military auspices. Steps have also been taken to ensure continuity in such supplies on the restoration of Civil Government