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Oral Answers to Questions — Malaysia and Indonesia

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough 12:00 am, 27th July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the negotiations for a settlement of the dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia, through the medium of the Government of Thailand, in view of the relevance of these negotiations to British commitments in the area concerned.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The Government of Thailand have already played a helpful part in facilitating contacts between Indonesia and Malaysia, and I have seen Press reports that the Thai Foreign Minister made new proposals for a settlement to the Indonesian Foreign Minister when the latter visited Bangkok on 8th and 9th July. I understand that Dr. Subandrio has since, however, expressed the view that negotiations are, for the moment, impossible.

Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough

Whatever is the compelling military situation, is not the right hon. Gentleman as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs concerned mostly with the political settlement which must come at some point? Is he aware that the Tunku, the Prime Minister of Malaya, has been in America and has seen officials at the United States, U Thant and the Afro-Asian group of the United Nations? Would he be prepared to support a proposal that an Afro-Asian mission of good will be sent to Indonesia and Malaya to try to seek a military solution to this problem?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

When in the Far East I did my best to encourage the Tokyo meeting to take place. Unfortunately, that meeting was not successful. With the approval of the Tunku, I would certainly be ready to submit any plan for consideration provided that it respects the independence and integrity of Malaysia.