Oral Answers to Questions — Malaya and Singapore.

– in the House of Commons on 2nd June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

asked the Prime Minister whether any reports have yet been received from General Wavell on the loss of Malaya and Singapore as the result of the request made to him for such a report prior to 14th April, 1942; and whether he has any statement to make?

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

When does the right hon. Gentleman expect to receive the report, as the Prime Minister told us on 13th April that one had been called for? Six weeks have now passed. Has the right hon. Gentleman any idea when it will arrive?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I cannot say, but the hon. Gentleman will realise that General Wavell is engaged in military operations and has to carry on the war as well as think about past events.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that in order to avoid General Wavell having to do it himself he was asked to appoint an officer to do it for him? Has that been done?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Has the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster made a report; and can that be made available to us?

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

asked the Prime Minister whether the steps recommended with regard to the air-raid precautions defences of Singapore were taken; and whether arrangements were planned for the efficient blowing up of the causeway and the destruction of the graving dock?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

There was in operation at Singapore a well developed Civil Defence organisation. A local war committee, upon which civil and Service representatives co-operated, was appointed in 1940 and kept the A.R.P. plans under constant review. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the affirmative. Arrangements were planned for the efficient blowing up of the causeway, and were carried out with complete success; as regards the graving dock, it is known that the caisson and pumping machinery were destroyed and that, in addition, an oil hulk was sunk across the entrance to the dock.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the recommendations contained in the report from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster were put into practice? Is he aware that reports reaching home state that the causeway was so ineffectively blown up that it was repaired by the Japanese in 12 hours?

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the information he has given to the House conflicts with many authoritative reports which have reached this country? Is it not about time that we had some official statement about this matter?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I do not know what reports the hon. Member has had. I am giving the official reports which we have had.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that both the Army and—

Mr. Speaker:

rose.