Skip to main content

Civilian Casualties

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is his estimate of the number of civilians accidentally killed in bombing raids on bandits in Malaya; and what compensation has been paid.

Only one civilian, a child of three, is known to have been killed in this way, and 676 dollars (about £80) were paid as compensation.

In view of the recent statement by the Director of Operations in Malaya that these bombing operations are expensive, and seeing that the jungle cannot be set on fire, would the Minister reconsider the whole policy of the use of bombers in Malaya?

This is a matter which I would prefer to leave to the Director of Operations in Malaya.

Would it not be better if Mr. Vyshinsky, now so friendly, would call off these operations altogether?

Does not the Minister agree that the Royal Air Force does at least give some warning to the bandits when its aircraft are coming, whereas the bandits stab people in the back when they are carrying out their normal daily work?

I indicated last week the steps taken before bombing takes place to ensure that civilians are given as much warning as possible.

Can the Minister say how many civilian lives have been saved as a result of the attacks on terrorists by Royal Air Force aircraft?

I have given the figure; it is a very large number, and an increasing number.