Oral Answers to Questions — Singapore.

– in the House of Commons on 4th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

asked the Prime Minister whether the decision to accept battle in the island of Singapore was a military or political decision; and, if the former, whether General Wavell recommended it?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The decision was taken on military grounds and was the unanimous decision of His Majesty's Government, their military advisers, and the commanders on the spot.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Sir Keith Murdoch reported that he had every sympathy with General Wavell, because he had reason to believe that the decision was a political, and not a military one; and is that true? Many people believe that General Wavell was overruled in this country.

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I am not prepared to check up on statements made by individuals. I have been asked for the facts, and I have given them.

Viscountess Astor:

Would it not be a good thing to send the hon. Member to Singapore, to look into these matters?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Would it not be possible to clear this matter up if we had a statement from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who was in Singapore?

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Why are the Government so reluctant to give us any information on this subject?