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Malaya (Financial Aid)

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the High Commissioner's recent statement in the Federation Legislative Council that he had represented to the Secretary of State the necessity for a substantial contribution from the British Government towards the cost of security and defence requirements in Malaya; and whether he is in a position to make a statement on the subject.

Yes. I make the following statement in amplification of the reply on this subject given today to the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans).His Majesty's Government are fully aware of the heavy financial burden placed on the Federation of Malaya as a direct result of the present disturbances. I have informed the High Commissioner that it is proposed to seek Parliamentary authority at the first opportunity for the provision of £6 million of which £5 million will be to cover that part of the direct expenditure of the Federation Government on internal security in 1949 which it is unable to meet from its own resources. The balance of £1 million is an estimate of the extra expenditure likely to be incurred on the Imperial Forces in Malaya in 1948 and 1949 and which in the special circumstances of the territory His Majesty's Government has agreed to meet. The amount of His Majesty's Government's assistance has been decided after full consultation with the High Commissioner on the budgetary programme and fiscal policy of the Federation.His Majesty's Government recognise that further assistance may be necessary in 1950 but should there be a material change in the position which cannot be left for adjustment in 1950 the matter will be considered again this year in the light of the position as it emerges.