HC Deb 23 September 1909 vol 11 cc590-1

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is in accordance with consular practice, when a native is accused of killing a British subject and when a British subject is accused of killing a native, respectively, to hold the preliminary magisterial inquiry in camera; whether it was with his approval all hearing of the charge against Constable John Mears of having killed Yu-Fa-Cheng, at Kiukiang, last April, was refused for three months, until an extensive trade boycott rendered some sort of inquiry necessary; whether he is aware that at length Consul-Judge Werner heard the charge in camera and suppressed the evidence, that the doctor attached to the British consulate admitted having heard Mears say he had given a poke to Yu-Fa-Cheng, and that the latter died from internal hemorrhage a few hours later; that this ecidence was corroborated by other witnesses, including two American citizens; that the Consul accepted all the evidence for the defence, rejected all for the prosecution, did not allow Mears to be called or questioned before him, spoke of the admitted poke as an imaginary blow, and refused to allow the case to go before the British Supreme Court of Shanghai; and whether he will allow the case to go before the British Supreme Court of Shanghai, or lay upon the Table of this House a copy of the evidence given before the Consul?


No information has been received from His Majesty's Minister at Peking in regard to the incident referred to by the hon. Member. Sir John Jordan will furnish a report on the matter in due course.