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Tuesday, 11 April 1961


Mr Ward d asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   How much longer is it anticipated that it will be necessary to retain Australian armed forces in Malaya?

2.   Has the Government determined the point of time at which it will be considered that the Malayan Government should accept the full responsibility of maintaining order in the area under its control?

3.   What contribution is made by the Malayan Government towards the cost of maintaining the

Australian forces which are performing a service which normally should be a charge upon the revenues of the local government?


Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Australian forces, in conjunction with United Kingdom and New Zealand forces, are stationed in Malaya under arrangements agreed with the Government of the Federation of Malaya in 1957; these arrangements continue at the desire of the Federation and other Commonwealth governments concerned. The retention of these forces in the area depends on circumstances as assessed by the governments concerned from time to time.

2.   On attaining independence in 1957, the Malayan Government accepted full responsibility for the maintenance of public order within its territory. In view, however, of the particular security threat with which it was faced, the Federation Government sought the continued assistance of Commonwealth forces in operations against the Communist terrorists remaining in the area of the border between Malaya and Thailand.

3.   The Australian Government accepts the additional cost involved in maintaining these forces in Malaya compared with their maintenance cost in Australia.







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