asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking for the provision of adequate and increased staff in order to accelerate the investigation and assessment of claims for war damage and rehabilitation in Malaya; and whether, in view of his statement in the House on 14th July 1948, that the present staff was insufficient, and of the loss of interest, etc., to claimants owing to the consequent delays, he will ensure that fully adequate staff is immediately provided.
Mr. Creech Jones:
As the hon. Member is aware, no war damage compensation scheme has so far been implemented, since His Majesty's Government's recent offer is still under consideration by the Malayan Governments. As soon as a scheme is approved, the hon. Member may be assured that I will take all possible steps to assist the Malayan Governments in obtaining any additional staff which they may require.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he has not answered that part of the Question which refers to assessments and that it is the resignations from the assessment side that are causing very great delay and hardship? Will the right hon. Gentleman implement the undertaking that he gave on the date mentioned in the Question, to see that these assessments are carried out much more rapidly, and that when the new scheme is put into operation there is no further delay?
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any progress has been made with the problem of goods requisitioned, on which there is considerable feeling in Malaya and about which I have been in correspondence with him?