American Citizens, Penang (Evacuation Arrangements).

Oral Answers to Questions — Malaya. – in the House of Commons on 18th February 1942.

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Mr. Bower:

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the allegations made by Mr. Elliott H. Simpson, an American importer who has recently returned to the United States of America from Penang, criticising the treatment of American citizens by the British authorities in connection with the evacuation arrangements; and whether, in view of the serious effects which these allegations are likely to have on Anglo-American relations, he will cause an immediate inquiry to be held?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

I have seen a Press report in that sense. But the information which we have been able to obtain does not confirm the accuracy of Mr. Simpson's story. It would indeed be a matter of deep regret if there was any failure under the pressure of events to show all possible consideration to the United States authorities at Penang at the time of evacuation. I am sure the House will realise that, the circumstances being what they are, an inquiry would be quite impracticable

Mr. Bower:

Would the right hon. Gentleman see that the widest possible publicity is given to this Answer?

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

Would it not have been desirable to have issued immediately an official denial of these allegations?