§ Mr. Champion
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is in a position to make any further statement about financial assistance to Malaya arising out of his recent discussions with the High Commissioner.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
Since I stated on 21st June that His Majesty's Government would be prepared to give further financial assistance there has been a considerable improvement in the financial position of the Federation Government and it has been decided that no contribution for 1950, in addition to the £3 million already given, will be necessary. As regards 1951, His Majesty's Government are prepared, in recognition of the increasing part the Malayan peoples are anxious to play in their own defence against external and internal aggression, to meet the cost of raising two further battalions of the Malay Regiment, i.e. the cost of clothing, arms etc., at an estimated expenditure of £1¼ million.
I propose, in due course, to seek Parliamentary approval for that part of the overall cost which will fall to be met in 1951–52. The Federation Government will meet the cost of their accommodation and their future maintenance. Should it appear at a later date that further financial assistance in 1951 may be necessary, His Majesty's Government will certainly be willing to review the position. In the meantime, I should like to make it abundantly clear that His Majesty's Government, as they always have been, are willing to give Malaya all the assistance that may be shown to be necessary both for the effective prosecution of the anti-bandit campaign and to enable her to go ahead with her plans of social and economic development. It is His Majesty's Government's desire that the heavy burden that Malaya is continuing to bear in the common effort against Communist banditry should not be allowed to impede, for financial reasons, this very necessary development programme.