§ COLONEL SYKES
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, What foundation there is for the statements in the China journals that the Allies at Shanghai had been obliged to relinquish all the cities and positions they had captured from the Taepings and retire upon Shanghai; that 400,000 rebels had suddenly appeared, and in exasperation for the allied attacks upon them, were desolating the neighbourhood of Shanghai; and whether a requisition had been made to the Indian Government for a reinforcement of troops?
§ MR. LAYARD
said, in reply, that no information had been received by the Government which at all corroborated the statements in the question of his hon. and gallant Friend. The Allies had not been obliged to relinquish their positions in the neighbourhood of Shanghai, although the General in command had thought it right, for strategic or other purposes, to withdraw a portion of the troops from certain points. With respect to the 400,000 rebels, he believed they only existed in the imagination of the officer who had communicated with his hon. and gallant Friend. He did not believe there was anything like that number in the neighbourhood of Shanghai; and as regarded a requisition for reinforcements, he knew nothing about it, and he believed that nothing was known about it at the War Office.