§ 69. Mr. Driberg
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the collective punishment imposed on the inhabitants of Tanjong Malim, Malaya; why an adequate armed escort was not provided for the men killed in ambush in this neighbourhood recently; and if such escorts are to be provided in similar future circumstances.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
As the hon. Member will be aware, I made a statement last Wednesday in answer to Questions by the hon. Members for Aston (Mr. Wyatt) and Tradeston (Mr. Rankin). The High Commissioner is relaxing the curfew which, from today, will be from dusk to dawn only. The rice ration is also being restored.
Some arrests have been made as a result of information given by householders on forms distributed last weekend.
With regard to the second part of the Question, it is not correct to say that the escort provided for the ambushed party was inadequate. An unusually large escort was detailed, consisting of one n.c.o. and 15 men, for this small party of five people; but they were attacked from a very well prepared ambush.