• Short Summary

    FIVE COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES -- AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE AND BRITAIN -- ARE DUE TO BEGIN JOINT TALKS IN KUALA LUMPUR ON JUNE 10TH.

  • Description

    FIVE COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES -- AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE AND BRITAIN -- ARE DUE TO BEGIN JOINT TALKS IN KUALA LUMPUR ON JUNE 10TH. THEY WILL BE DISCUSSING THE DEFENCE OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA AFTER BRITISH TROOPS IN MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE ARE WITHDRAW AT THE END OF 1971.

    THIS FILM SHOWS SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES OF BRITISH FORCES STILL STATIONED IN THE AREA, AND THEIR BASES AND INSTALLATIONS. THESE INCLUDE THE ROYAL AIR FORCE STRIKE COMMAND BASE AT TENGAH, IN SINGAPORE, THE NEARBY RADAR STATION AT BUKIT GOMBAK AND THE BLOODHOUND MISSILE BASE AT SELETAR. BRITAIN HAS OFFERED THE RADAR AND MISSILE INSTALLATIONS TO THE SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT AND HAS PROMISED TO SUPPLY SPECIALISTS TO TRAIN THE LOCAL FORCES TO OPERATE THEM; AND THE SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENTS HAVE AGREED IN PRINCIPLE TO CREATE A JOINT DEFENCE SYSTEM.

    FILM THEN SHOWS SOME OF THE AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND TROOPS WHO ARE STATIONED, WITH THE BRITISH, AT TERENDAK CAMP ON THE WEST COAST OF MALAYSIA. ANOTHER MATTER TO BE DISCUSSED WILL BE WHETHER THE AUSTRALIANS AND NEW ZEALANDERS WILL STAY ON THERE AFTER THE BRITISH WITHDRAWAL; AND HOW TO MAINTAIN THE FACILITIES WHICH THEY USE, BUT WHICH ARE AT PRESENT MAINTAINED BY THE BRITISH.

    THE BRITISH DEPARTURE WILL RAISE ECONOMIC AS WELL AS MILITARY PROBLEMS, PARTICULARLY FOR SINGAPORE. BOTH ASPECTS HAVE FIGURED IN THE TALKS WHICH THE SINGAPORE PRIME MINISTER, LEE KUAN YEW, HAS JUST BEEN HOLDING WITH MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IN LONDON. THE BASES CONTRIBUTE ABOUT ONE-FIFTH OF SINGAPORE'S NATIONAL INCOME, AND MANY THOUSANDS OF CIVILIAN WORKERS ARE EMPLOYED THERE, OR WORK FOR THE BRITISH SERVICE FAMILIES. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE BRITISH WILL BE LEAVING BEHIND FINE NEW BLOCKS OF FLATS, WHICH COULD HELP SINGAPORE'S OVERCROWDING PROBLEMS, AND ALSO SCHOOLS, SWIMMING POOLS, OFFICE BUILDINGS, CINEMAS AND SOCIAL CLUBS.

    FILM SHOWS SOME OF THESE BUILDINGS, AND ENDS WITH AN EXERCISE ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER EAGLE, STATIONED AT SINGAPORE. FROM NOW ON, ONLY ONE CARRIER IS TO BE STATIONED IN FAR EASTERN WATERS INSTEAD OF TWO; BUT THE NAVAL AND AIR FORCE UNITS ARE EXPECTED TO BE THE LAST TO LEAVE. LAND FORCES WILL PROBABLY BE WITHDRAWN DURING THE NEXT YEAR TO EIGHTEEN MONTHS.

    THERE IS NATURAL SOUND ON FILM, AS INDICATED IN THE SHOT LIST.

    SYNOPSIS: A BRITISH FORCE OF MORE THAN 40,000 MEN IS CONTROLLED FROM THIS BUILDING IN SINGAPORE - THE HEADQUARTERS OF FAR EAST COMMAND. THE MOVEMENT OF BRITISH TROOPS, SHIPS AND AIRCRAFT BETWEEN THE EAST COAST OF AFRICA AND THE AMERICAN PACIFIC COAST IS HANDLED BY ITS TOP-SECRET WAR-ROOM. BUT MOST OF THIS FORCE IS TO BE WITHDRAWN BY THE END OF 1971. SO FIVE COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES WILL SHORTLY START TALKS ABOUT HOW TO FILL THE GAP THIS WITHDRAWAL WILL MAKE IN SOUTH EAST ASIAN DEFENCE.

    BRITAIN HAS PROMISED TO SEND FORCES OUT AGAIN IN AN EMERGENCY - IN WHICH CASE THEY WOULD NEED BASES, SUCH AS THE ROYAL AIR FORCE STRIKE COMMAND BASE AT TENGAH. ONE IMPORTANT QUESTION IS: WHO WOULD BEAR THE COST OF MAINTAINING IT IN THE MEANTIME. THE SINGAPORE PRIME MINISTER, LEW KUAN YEW, HAS SAID HE HAS BEEN OFFERED BRITISH LIGHTNING JET FIGHTERS, BUT IS NOT SATISFIED THAT THEY WOULD NECESSARILY BE THE BEST AIRCRAFT FOR SINGAPORE'S NEEDS.

    THE ROYAL AIR FORCE LIGHTNINGS, NOW BASED AT TENGAH, TRAINING IN FORMATION.

    THE BRITISH WILL BE HANDLING OVER THE RADAR STATION NEAR TENGAH TO THE SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT. ONE DEFINITE DECISION THAT HAS BEEN TAKEN SO FAR - AT LEAST IN PRINCIPLE - IS THAT SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA WILL OPERATE A JOINT AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM AFTER THE BRITISH WITHDRAWAL. THE SOUTHWARD-FACING INSTALLATIONS ON SINGAPORE ISLAND WOULD FORM PART OF A COMPLEMENTARY SYSTEM WITH NORTHWARD-FACING ONES IN MALAYSIA.

    ANOTHER CONTRIBUTION TO THE PLANNED JOINT AIR DEFENCES WILL PROBABLY BE THE BLOODHOUND MISSILE BASE AT SELETAR. THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS PROMISED TO PROVIDE SPECIALISTS TO OPERATE THE MISSILES UNTIL LOCAL FORCES ARE HIGHLY TRAINED TO TAKE OVER - AND ALSO TO DO THE TRAINING. MINISTERS AND SERVICE ADVISERS FROM BRITAIN, MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE WILL BE AT THE FORTHCOMING DEFENCE TALKS IN KUALA LUMPUR, AND WILL DISCUSS THE PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN THE JOINT DEFENCE PROJECT.

    TERENDAK CAMP, ON THE WEST COAST OF MALAYSIA, WHERE BRITISH, AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND TROOPS ARE ALL STATIONED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND HAVE A CLOSE INTEREST IN THE DEFENCE OF SOUTH EAST ASIA - THEIR "NEAR NORTH", AS IT IS CALLED - AND WILL BE THE OTHER TWO COUNTRIES REPRESENTED AT THE FIVE-POWER COMMONWEALTH TALKS.

    THESE ARE SOME OF THE MEN OF THE ROYAL NEW ZEALAND INFANTRY REGIMENT, KEEPING UP A HIGH STANDARD OF MARKSMANSHIP.

    AUSTRALIA HAS ABOUT THREE THOUSAND MEN STATIONED IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA. THEIR FUTURE HAS NOT YET BEEN DECIDED, THOUGH IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THEY AND THE NEW ZEALANDERS MAY STAY ON AT TERENDAK AFTER THE BRITISH TROOPS ARE WITHDRAWN. THERE WILL BE MANY DETAILS TO BE WORKED OUT, BECAUSE AT PRESENT THE AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALANDERS MAKE EXTENSIVE USE OF BRITISH BASE FACILITIES. THE OUTLOOK IN VIETNAM - WHERE BOTH COUNTRIES HAVE TROOPS SERVING - WILL BE ONE OF THE FACTORS THE TWO GOVERNMENTS WILL BE TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION IN DECIDING WHAT COMMITMENTS THEY CAN UNDERTAKE AND WHAT BASES THEY NEED FOR TRAINING AND SECURITY PURPOSES.

    THERE ARE ABOUT 28,000 BRITISH TROOPS AT PRESENT IN SINGAPORE ALONE, AND ABOUT 30,000 MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILIES. A LOT OF LOCAL CIVILIANS WHO HAVE BEEN EMPLOYED AT THE BASE OR BY SERVICE FAMILIES ARE LIKELY TO BE OUT OF WORK WHEN THE TROOPS GO HOME. BUT THE BRITISH WILL BE LEAVING BEHIND SOME FINE NEW FLATS, WHICH COULD HELP TO OVERCOME SINGAPORE'S OVERCROWDING PROBLEM. THIS BLOCK WAS COMPLETED ONLY LAST YEAR.

    THERE ARE TWENTY SCHOOLS ON THE ISLAND FOR SERVICEMEN'S CHILDREN - AND ONE OF THE BIG PROBLEMS THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO FACE IS FINDING HOUSES AND SCHOOL PLACES FOR THEM ALL BACK IN BRITAIN.

    THE TERMS ON WHICH ALL THOSE FACILITIES - SWIMMING POOLS, CINEMAS, CLUBS - WILL BE HANDED OVER WILL BE DISCUSSED BETWEEN THE BRITISH AND SINGAPORE GOVERNMENTS BETWEEN NOW AND 1971.

    BRITAIN'S LARGEST AIRCRAFT CARRIER, EAGLE, IS OUT IN SINGAPORE AT PRESENT, BUT IS EXPECTED TO RETURN HOME SHORTLY. AFTER THAT, ONLY ONE CARRIER AT A TIME WILL BE STATIONED IN FAR EASTERN WATERS, INSTEAD OF TWO, AS HAS BEEN USUAL UP TO NOW.

    WHEN THE CARRIER ARK ROYAL IS REFITTED AND EQUIPPED WITH PHANTOM AIRCRAFT, SHE IS LIKELY TO BE SENT EAST. EAGLE WAY THEREFORE NOT RETURN TO SINGAPORE. AGAIN BEFORE THE FINAL WITHDRAWAL.

    THE AIRCRAFT FLYING FROM EAGLE ARE SEA VIXENS AND BUCCANEERS. SHE WILL NOT NOW BE RE-EQUIPPED WITH PHANTOMS.

    BRITISH NAVAL AND AIR FORCE UNITS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN IN THE AREA UNTIL RIGHT TO THE END OF 1971. THE LAND FORCES ARE LIKELY TO BE WITHDRAWN BEFORE THAN - PROBABLY DURING THE COURSE OF THE NEXT YEAR TO EIGHTEEN MONTHS.

    THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS PROMISED THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH EAST ASIA TREATY ORGANISATION THAT, IN SPITE OF THE WITHDRAWAL, IT INTENDS TO CONTINUE ITS COMMITMENT UNDER THE TREATY. AFTER 1971, IT PROPOSED TO MAINTAIN MILITARY FORCES BASED IN THE EUROPEAN THEATRE, BUT CAPABLE OF BEING SENT ELSEWHERE WHEN REQUIRED.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6424G21D1CZCXFVMXCHKE7OGC
    Media URN:
    VLVA6424G21D1CZCXFVMXCHKE7OGC
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/05/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:07:43:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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