HC Deb 11 May 1904 vol 134 cc1015-6
MR. CHARLES McARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

I beg to ask the Under- Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Consul at Newchwang has requested the despatch of a gunboat to that port for the protection of British interests, in view of the danger of pillage by brigands upon or immediately subsequent to the reported Russian retirement; and can he say what steps are being taken for the safeguarding of British life and property in the contingency mentioned.


The answer to the first Question is in the negative. Newchwang being in the theatre of war, His Majesty's Government took some time ago the only course open to them by addressing representations to the belligerents requesting them to take such measures as circumstances might permit to safeguard the interests of British subjects at Newchwang. A reply was received from the Russian Government stating that all precautions would be taken for the protection of the lives and property of British subjects.


May I ask what will be the position of British subjects and property if there is an interval between the retirement of the Russians and the coming of the Japanese, supposing brigands arrive? Who would be responsible for the protection of British lives and property?


In the event of such an interval occurring, of course no protection could be afforded by the belligerents.


asked would it not be the case that Newchwang would revert to its own proper Sovereign, the Chinese Government, and would not they be responsible.


I am not aware that there are any Chinese troops in the place.