462. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Counselor of the British Embassy (De la Mare) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Sebald), Department of State, Washington, October 30, 19561


  • Singapore Situation

Mr. De la Mare called at the Department at 4:30 p.m. October 30, at his request. He said that he had come to see Mr. Sebald to give him a copy of a note which Sir Robert Scott had sent to the Colonial Office giving his views on Lim Yew-hock.2 He handed Mr. Sebald a paraphrase of the document.3 Mr. Sebald, after reading it, said we agreed wholeheartedly and had followed largely the same line. Mr. De la Mare expressed the misgiving that Lim Yew-hock might “go off the rails” as Marshall before him had done. Mr. Sebald said that it was our feeling that unless we are careful in how we handle the public relations aspect of this problem, Lim Yew-hock might be tarred with the colonial brush. We were, however, of the opinion that he had handled himself well, and, as Sir Robert pointed out, the riots were evidence of his firmness.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 746F.00/10–3056. Confidential. Drafted by James V. Martin, Jr., on November 2.
  2. In June 1956, Lim Yew Hock succeeded David Marshall as Chief Minister of the Government of Singapore.
  3. The note is not printed. Scott expressed confidence in Lim Yew Hock and admiration for his handling of the riots which had taken place in Singapore October 25-30. Scott felt that the new administration in Singapore recognized what needed to be done to counter subversion and had the courage to do what was necessary. (Department of State, Central Files, 746F.00/10–3056)
  4. An assessment of the riots in Singapore and Lim Yew Hock’s handling of them is in despatch 225 from Singapore, November 9, not printed. (Ibid., 746F.00/11–956)