212 Massey to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 338 SINGAPORE, 15 June 1949, 8.25 p.m.

CONFIDENTIAL

Your telegram 319. [1]

This suggestion was first made public in a Press Conference given in March by Rees-William, Under-Secretary for the Colonies, who gave it as his own conception of what the long-term United Kingdom policy should be. It roused very little enthusiasm amongst local Asian leaders, and the Administration realised this.

2. Nothing is known here of any further developments. The Commissioner-General's Office has no confirmation to offer, but MacDonald's Principal Assistant adds unofficially that this is scarcely remarkable as they have had absolutely no information whatever from London regarding Commissioner-General's activities there.

3. Some political gesture just now is very likely as MacDonald has spoken of the need for it frequently in recent weeks. It seems to us very doubtful, all the same, whether it would be of this major variety.

4. MacDonald arrives here on Saturday?

1 Document 211.

2 MacDonald told Massey subsequently that there was no likelihood of such a dominion being formed for some time. See Massey's memorandum to Burton dated 30 June 1948.

[AA: A1838/2, 382/8/1]