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High Commissioner, Malaya (Directive)

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that the political approach to the people of Malaya is the most important factor in rallying them to our assistance in the fighting there; what directive he has given to the new High Commissioner regarding the political advancement of the Federation; and what steps are being taken to bring these to the notice of the people.

The great importance which I attach to political progress in Malaya is made clear in the Directive issued to the High Commissioner, which has received wide publicity in Malaya.Following is the text of the Directive issued to General Sir Gerald Walter Robert Templer, K.C.B., K.B.E., C.M.G., D.S.O., A.D.C., High Commissioner in and for the Federation of Malaya, by the Secretary of State for the Colonies on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.This Directive was issued to General Templer on 4th February and was read at the swearing-in ceremony at Kuala Lumpur on 7th February.

The policy of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom is that Malaya should, in due course, become a fully self-governing nation. His Majesty's Government confidently hope that that nation will be within the British Commonwealth.
2. In assisting the peoples of Malaya to achieve this object, you will at all times be guided by the declaration of policy expressed in the preamble of the Federation of Malaya Agreement and by the statement of the special responsibilities of the High Commissioner contained in Section 19 of that Agreement.
3. To achieve a united Malayan nation there must be a common form of citizenship for all who regard the Federation or any part of it as their real home and the object of their loyalty.
4. It will be your duty to guide the peoples of Malaya towards the attainment of these objectives and to promote such political progress of the country as will, without prejudicing the campaign against the terrorists, further our democratic aims in Malaya.
5. The ideal of a united Malayan nation does not involve the sacrifice by any community of its traditional culture and customs, but before it can be fully realised the Malays must be encouraged and assisted to play a full part in the economic life of the country, so that the present uneven economic balance may be redressed. It will be your duty to foster this process to the best of your ability.
6. His Majesty's Government believe that the British have a mission to fulfil in the achievement of these objects, and that, even after self-government has been attained, the British in Malaya will have a worthy and continuing part to play in the life of the country.
7. Communist terrorism is retarding the political advancement and economic development of the country and the welfare of its peoples. Your primary task in Malaya must, therefore, be the restoration of law and order, so that this barrier to progress may be removed. Without victory and the state of law and order which it alone can bring, there can be no freedom from fear, which is the first human liberty.
8. In furtherance of your task, not only will you fulfil the normal functions of High Commissioner, but you will assume complete operational command over all armed forces assigned to operations in the Federation and will be empowered to issue operational orders to their Commanders without reference to the Commanders-in-Chief, Far East. You should establish the closest consultation between yourself and the Commanders-in-Chief, Far East, in matters of common concern.
9. You may assure the Malayan peoples of all communities that they can count on the powerful and continuing assistance of His Majesty's Government not only in the immediate task of defeating the terrorists but in the longer term objective of forging a united Malayan nation. His Majesty's Government will not lay aside their responsibilities in Malaya until they are satisfied that Communist terrorism has been defeated and that the partnership of all communities, which alone can lead to true and stable self-government, has been firmly established.