203 Noel-Baker to Australian Government
Cablegram H363 LONDON, 21 August 1948, 6.43 p.m.
As you will be aware we have decided to send further
reinforcements to Malaya and have recently announced decision to
send second Guards Brigade. Following for your top secret
information are main considerations which led us to take this
2. The Malay Communist Party is endeavouring to establish a
Communist State in Malaya. The first stage in their plan is to
dislocate the economic life of the country. In order to achieve
this they have engaged in wholesale campaign of murder, wounding
and kidnapping directed primarily against law-abiding Chinese who
co-operate with administration. Actual or potential informers and
Kuomintang sympathisers are particular objects of attack. A
smaller number of Europeans have been attacked and murdered,
primarily those in isolated positions on plantations.
3. The instrument which the Communist Party have created to
achieve their ends is made up of Chinese bandit gangs each unit
numbering about 30 and totalling throughout the Federation at
present some 3 to 4,000. Their full strength is not yet mobilised.
They are planning to increase to about 5,000 in the next month or
4. This Terrorist Campaign is not genuine popular movement. But if
Terrorists remain unchecked, there is a danger that they may
increase number of their supporters and their hold over them.
5. All possible counter measures to restore confidence and order
in Malaya are being carried out, including especially the
strengthening of the Interim Security Services, particularly the
Police, but these measures are bound to take time before their
full effect can be felt. Meanwhile violence continues to the
detriment of the morale and confidence of the civil population. It
is for these reasons, therefore, that we have decided to send
military reinforcements to Malaya in an endeavour to stabilise the
situation until the Security Force are fully effective.
6. We are considering the further steps that will be necessary to
stamp out the menace completely.
[AA: A1838/278, 413/2/6/3, ii]