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Accidental Bombing, Malaya

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1950

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33.

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will make a statement regarding the accidental bombing of Utan Simpang estate in Malaya.

During a bombing attack on 4th November against an area into which a force of terrorists had been driven, a stick of five bombs was released prematurely and one bomb fell outside the target area near a group of rubber workers. I am informed that 13 people were killed and 16 injured. My right hon. Friend deeply regrets this unfortunate accident, the causes of which are not fully established, and a full report has been called for.

How far was this place from the actual target? Secondly, what compensation is being given in respect of those who, unfortunately, have been killed?

I cannot say exactly how far it was. That is one of the things which is being investigated. I have not yet got the information on the compensation being paid, but as soon as we have a report I will give the hon. Gentleman full details.

Has the hon. Gentleman satisfied himself that bombing is an effective means of clearing up the emergency? Will he consult with the Secretary of State for War to see whether more mortar ammunition could be made available to the troops?