Malaya Legislative Council (Elected Members)

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 1954.

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Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central 12:00 am, 12th May 1954

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what answer has been given to the United Malay National Party and the Malay Chinese Association to their request for a majority of elected representatives on the Malayan Legislative Assembly at the forthcoming election.

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

I am not sure to which request the hon. Gentleman is referring, but the elected members of the new Legislative Council are to be in a majority of six.

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central

Is the Minister aware that the deputation which is here from Malaya dealing with this problem is now acting in a constitutional way? Will the right hon. Gentleman deal as generously as he can with it, for an ounce of generosity and understanding now will save us tons of trouble later on? Is the Minister aware that according to the recent Report on Singapore, the Rendal Committee recommends 75 per cent, elected, and now he is offering a majority of only six in the Federation? Will the right hon. Gentleman review the matter in the light of the Report on Singapore?

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

The Singapore matter has no particular relevance to this Question. The majority of those reporting on the Federal elections in the Federation did not recommend an elected majority. That is the only major recommendation of the Report which has not been adopted. We have now got an elected majority of six.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

Does the Secretary of State propose to receive the deputation which I understand represents the major organisations of the various communities in Malaya and desires to discuss with him and present to him its views of these proposals? Does he propose to meet these people and, after meeting them, will he make a further statement to the House?

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

I am to see the deputation, but I understand that constitutional matters are not going to be raised.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

Do I understand that if they desire to offer their comments to the right hon. Gentleman upon the proposals for constitutional advance, he will be ready to listen to them?

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

I think we had better wait and see what happens.

Photo of Mr William Proctor Mr William Proctor , Eccles

Is it a fact that the original demand of the parties referred to by my hon. Friend in his Question was for 60 per cent, elected representatives and 40 per cent, selected representatives? Since the right hon. Gentleman's decision is 52 elected and 46 selected, which means that there is only a narrow difference of seven, will he give some indication that on such a narrow point he will not allow these negotiations to break down?

Photo of Mr William Warbey Mr William Warbey , Broxtowe

Will the right hon. Gentleman take into account the fact that these two organisations representing the two main communities in Malaya are both moderate in their demands and are highly representative, and that if he loses the opportunity of coming to an agreement with them he may find it difficult to achieve any reasonable political settlement in Malaya at all?

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

I do not accept what the hon. Gentleman says. I think we had better wait and see what happens.