206 Department of External Affairs to Massey

Cablegram 529 [1] CANBERRA, 22 September 1948, 5.30 p.m.

TOP SECRET

From information we have here, it would appear that the guerilla activity in Malaya is conducted by certain guerilla bands organised to combat Japanese who, since the war, have been demanding recognition for their services, rehabilitation and other assistance. The matter has been one for negotiation on a high plane between the Chinese Government and the Malayan and Singapore Authorities, but no agreements have been reached except in respect of guerilla bands that were in the vicinity of Singapore and who are now satisfied. It would appear that one of the reasons why there has been no agreement is that the Chinese have opposed the new constitutional provisions by which Chinese Malays should forgo their nationality, and that the Chinese Government has made no attempt to call off the guerilla bands until this and other demands have been satisfied. Meanwhile, Communists have taken advantage of the dissatisfactions amongst the Chinese in Malaya, and the position has gone beyond the point where the Chinese Government could, if it were willing, exercise any influence. The basic movement, however, would appear, on this analysis, to result from Chinese national expansionist motives, and not from any Communist policy. Your urgent comments would be appreciated.

1 The cited copy is a draft. Date and number inserted from copy in AA: A3196, 1948, 0.13634.

[AA: A6537, SEATS 3A]