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British Solomon Islands Protectorate (British Gallantry)

Volume 388: debated on Wednesday 31 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the reports of gallant actions of civilians in the Colonial Service, under his Department, in meeting Japanese onsets in the Solomon Islands and elsewhere; and whether, in consultation with the Minister of Information, he will consider the publication of a booklet descriptive of this heroism?

Yes, Sir. I am glad to have this opportunity of paying tribute to the really magnificent work which has been performed in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, both by the small and devoted band of British civil officers, under the leadership of the Resident Commissioner, Lieut.-Colonel Marchant, and also by the Service Battalion and the Labour Corps which have been formed among the islanders. They carried on in the face of great danger and difficulty, and have been of real service to the American Forces in the successful operations undertaken by our Allies in that area. I hope that it will soon be possible to tell the whole story. Hitherto this has not been possible, for security reasons, but I am at the present moment in communication with the High Commissioner for the Western Pacific on the question of giving suitable publicity to the exploits of these men.