British civil servant with Malayan Civil Service in Malaya, 1945-1959
REEL 1 Recollections of period as civil servant with Malayan Civil Service in Malaya, 1945-1959: description of various duties in Malaya; beginning of Emergency in Ipoh; lack of intelligence in early stages of State of Emergency; reasons for Communists launching armed struggle; contact with Communist leaders during union activity prior to declaration of State of Emergency; danger of complete collapse of country, 1948; level of prestige of Communists amongst Chinese population; anti-Communist feeling among Chinese in Malaya; formation and role of Ferret Force; staff training in GB.
REEL 2 Continues: estimation of work of Federation of Malaya Police; opinion of High Commissioner Sir Henry Gurney; support recieved from Labour Government; opinion of General Sir Harold Briggs; dealing with problem of squatters aiding insurgents; writing of Briggs Plan; impact of killing of Sir Henry Gurney by insurgents, 6/10/1951; leaking of news of Briggs Plan; impact of arrival of General Sir Gerald Templer, 1/1952.
REEL 3 Continues: question of policy of arming Chinese; hazards of any policy of divide and rule; reliance on Chinese members of Special Branch, Federation of Malaya Police; comparison between British success in Malaya and American failure in Vietnam; memories of Secretary of State for the Colonies, Oliver Lyttleton; question of granting citizenship to Chinese; role of Tamils during State of Emergency; importance of defeat of Communists.
REEL 4 Continues: lack of outside aid for Communists; account of breaking insurgent courier system; role of Special Air Service; organisation of Sakai aboriginals; Special Air Service ‘tree jumping’ technique; use of helicopters; planters; attitude towards ‘shoot to kill policies.
REEL 5 Continues: benefits of close relationship between branches of security forces; deceiving British Army in order to secure surrender of Communist Party leader; question of degree of personal danger; impressions of Commissioner General for South East Asia, Malcolm MacDonald; role of British Army units in defeat of insurrection; use of air power in Malaya; sections of population who supported Malayan Communist Party; appearance of Communist insurgents; insurgents’ supply of money; attitude towards insurgents.
REEL 6 Continues: phases of State of Emergency; refusal of Communist surrender terms, 1955; discussing future of country with Malay leaders; geographical areas of insurgent support; role of Singapore during State of Emergency.