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Malayan Rubber Estate Owners Company

Volume 413: debated on Friday 24 August 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the Japanese surrender, he proposes to take over, without amendment, the scheme of the Malayan Rubber Estate Owners for dealing with the transitional period; and what arrangements will be made to ensure that the interests of the estate managers and employers, British, Chinese, Malayan and others, will be protected during this period.

I am prepared to give to the Malayan Rubber Estate Owners Company the support promised by my predecessor on the same understanding, namely, that I reserve my right and the right of the Governments which will be re-established in Malaya to consider specially the cases of estate owners who may claim that, for financial or other reasons, it is impossible for them to join the Company or that it will seriously prejudice their interests to do so; and in appropriate cases, where the claim is considered to be valid, to arrange for such owners to get assistance in the obtaining of goods and services to an extent not greater and on terms not more favourable than the assistance extended to members of the Company.As regards the second part of the Question, the object of this scheme is to ensure a fair distribution among all owners of 100 acres or more of equipment and services which will be in short supply, and I am not quite clear in what respect the interests of the estate managers and employers require protection. If, however, the hon. and gallant Member would care to give me some further explanation of the cases he has in mind I should be happy to give further consideration to them.