Japanese Textiles (Imports)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the policy of the Governments of the Federation of Malaya and of Singapore regarding the importation of Japanese textiles.
The policy is governed by the trade arrangement between sterling area countries and the Supreme Commander, Allied Powers, in Japan, for the period July, 1948, to June, 1949. An import quota for cotton piece goods has been established within the framework of this arrangement, and particulars of allocations have been notified to importers.
Does that mean that the interests of Lancashire have been safeguarded, or are no limits likely to be imposed on the importation of Japanese textiles?
I do not think that the interests of Lancashire are involved at all in this arrangement.
Contrary to what the right hon. Gentleman has just said, is it not a fact that the interests both of Lancashire and the distributing entrepôt in Singapore are being seriously damaged by imports of Japanese grey cloth which is processed here and sent abroad? It is creating great competition with Lancashire.
These goods are desperately required in that part of the world.
Is it not also a British interest that Japanese people should live?
Shooting (Police Action)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what information he has about the two women killed by the police in Malaya on the 23rd February entitling him to define them as bandits.
The circumstances in which these women were killed leave no room for doubt. One of the women was in uniform and armed with a pistol and a hand grenade.
The Minister has not accounted for the other woman, and in view of the fact that the House must assume that no statement was taken from her because she was killed before any statement could be taken, could he say on what basis he states that she was a bandit?
I think the evidence is complete from the documents which were found on the woman.
Could my right hon. Friend tell us how long it has been customary for bandits to wear uniform?
Should not self-preservation precede definition?
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many persons were detained in Malaya and Singapore at the latest available date; how is their time occupied; if they perform productive work; and how they are paid for their labour.
One hundred and fifty-six persons were detained in Singapore on 1st May. Four thousand and thirty-nine persons were detained in the Federation of Malaya on 31st January. I will make inquiries about the other points and will write to the hon. Member.
Could my right hon. Friend say how many of these were Chinese and how many were Malays?
A great proportion of them were Chinese.