§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Defence why the Minister of Defence for the Navy went to the Far East; which places he visited; and if he will make a statement on the conditions in which members of the British forces there are living.
§ Mr. Mayhew
The main purpose of my visit to Singapore and Hong Kong was to examine at first hand the conditions in which the Far East Fleet is operating against Indonesian "confrontation". I also discussed with its Commanders and with Malaysian leaders the present operational situation there. As I expected, I found that the Far East Fleet is doing a fine professional job, but often in very uncomfortable conditions, especially afloat in some of our older ships. As a result of my visit I am working on a number of ideas for improving those conditions.