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South-East Asia (High Commissioner's Duties)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the functions and duties of Lord Killearn, the High Commissioner for South-East Asia; and whether, in view of its inevitable overlapping with the functions of the local Governors-General and Governors, this post is to be made permanent.

Lord Killearn is responsible for advising His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom on problems affecting the conduct of foreign affairs in South-East Asia, for the coordination of economic matters in the area as a whole and for taking all possible steps to alleviate the food crisis there. His functions do not overlap with those of the Governor-General and Governors, as the Governor-General is charged with the co-ordination of policy in the British Colonial Dependencies within his sphere, and the Governors are responsible for the administration of their respective territories. These are functions quite distinct from those of Lord Killearn. The future of this post has not yet been decided; and I am not in a position to make a statement about it at present.