HC Deb 25 April 1956 vol 551 cc148-9W
67. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a further statement respecting the con dition of emergency in Malaya; and whether agreement has now been reached respecting the stationing of Common wealth troops.

Mr. Hare

The leaders of the Communist terrorists refused the amnesty offer explained to them personally by the Chief Ministers of Malaya and Singapore in talks at Baling last December, though they said they would lay down their arms if a Malayan Minister had control over internal security. Such control passed to the Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya as a result of the constitutional talks in January, but the terrorists have not fulfilled their pledge.

The amnesty offer was withdrawn on the 8th February, but the Government of the Federation gave a promise on 16th March of fair treatment and of the prospect of rehabilitation to terrorists who surrendered. This offer does not extend to those guilty of atrocity or murder.

Operations against the terrorists con tinue. During the last six months approximately a further 4,000 square miles with a population of 167,000, have been added to the white areas in which the principal Emergency restrictions are lifted.

Agreement was reached in January about the stationing of the Common wealth Strategic Reserve in Malaya. Representatives of Her Majesty's Government and of the Government of the Federation are now working out in Kuala Lumpur a treaty of defence and mutual assistance to come into effect when the Federation attains independence within the Commonwealth. This treaty will, among other matters, make provision for the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve.