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Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what consultations he has had with the Sultans of Perak and Pahang during their visit to this country.

My right hon. Friend discussed the Malayan situation with the Sultans of Perak and Pahang before leaving on his recent visit, and he hopes to meet them again very shortly.

Is the Minister of State aware of the unfortunate impression made by his own speech at the recent Malayan dinner in London when he made no comment on the presence of these Sultans and failed to pay adequate tribute to the bravery and loyalty of the Malays during the disturbances?

No, Sir. At that dinner I did not make any particular comment about the Malay people as such because the Malay people are defending their own country, as we know, and there was no reason to single out the Malay people especially. I did, in fact, make a particular comment about the Chinese and about the British, and naturally I would pay as high a tribute as anyone else to the Malays. So far as the Sultans of Perak and Pahang were concerned, they were present at the dinner and I had very cordial relations with them there.

Is the Minister aware that whatever may have been his intentions, he did, in fact, create a most unfortunate impression?

Is my right hon. Friend aware that if he wishes to earn the applause of the Opposition he should spend his time at these dinners attacking Mr. Nehru?