Malaya (Scorched Earth Policy).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 10th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is yet in a position to give a detailed account of the application of the scorched earth policy in Malaya and, in particular, whether the Seremban tunnel and the Enggor bridge were destroyed; and whether references in the communiqués to the bombing of the marshalling yard at Gemas means that the Japanese are using the railway?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg , Altrincham

I am not yet in a position to give a detailed account of the application, of the scorched earth policy in Malaya. It is known, however, that both the East and West coast branches of the railway were blocked or destroyed at a number of points, and in particular that the Enggor bridge was demolished, the tunnel north of Kuala Lumpur blocked, and all large bridges blown up north of Seremban. No information is available as to the Seremban tunnel. There is no evidence that the Japanese are using the railway.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Was the same policy applied to the boats along the coast of Malaya, or were they used by the Japanese to invade Singapore?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg , Altrincham

As many boats as could be found were destroyed, but there is an enormous quantity of boats in every creek.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Will the Minister ascertain whether the Seremban tunnel really has been blown up?