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Dutch East Indies (Murdered British Officer)

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 1 November 1945

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(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any information about the murder of Brigadier Mallaby to give to the House and on the general situation in Indonesia.

It is with deep regret that I have to state that confirmation has now been received of the murder of Brigadier Mallaby, a great officer with great capacity and a real affection for the people of the Far East. The House will, I feel sure, wish to associate itself with His Majesty's Government in expressing their abhorrence at this treacherous crime and their sympathy with the wife and family of Brigadier Mallaby.

The House will be aware, from Press reports, of the warning issued yesterday by General Christison, who has done his best to bring the parties together. This warning has the full support of His Majesty's Government. It is to be hoped that the great body of Indonesians will make it clear that they dissociate themselves from the lawless acts of the extremists, which cannot but have the effect of retarding a return to peaceful conditions and constitutional reform, and, therefore, of jeopardising the welfare of the whole country.

While associating myself, and, I am sure, hon Members on both sides of the House, with the tribute which the right hon. Gentleman has paid to a very distinguished officer, who was personally known to us and worked with many of us in the last Cabinet, I would like to ask whether it is not a fact that these officers have, throughout, acted with great tact and discretion—our officers on the spot—and whether the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that all necessary steps are being taken to enable them to have any requirements that may be necessary to deal with the situation locally.

Yes Sir. These men, who carry great responsibility, have not only acted with tact and patience, but also to my personal knowledge with great sympathy and understanding of the Indonesians in this matter.