HC Deb 08 April 1913 vol 51 cc971-2
1. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government contemplate leaving Article II. and Article III. of the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 unaltered, notwithstanding subsequent constitutional changes in China?


I do not see that the Articles in question are affected by the constitutional changes in China.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Chinese Minister of Finance, Mr. Chon Hsuehhsi, addressed on 11th March a letter to the senior representative of the sextuple banks, pointing out that he had complained of the delay in the completion of the negotiations and disclaimed all responsibility for the difficulties which had arisen, while he asserted that he would have to negotiate in other quarters for the advance which the Government required; whether he is aware that the Minister asserted that when, on 3rd March, the new proposals were put forward by the six Powers regarding the appointment of advisers, he declared the Chinese Government never anticipated such a departure from the original scheme; and, seeing that the Minister finally asserted that the Powers whose proposals prevented the conclusion of the loan had accused China of failure to meet her indebtedness, and that the Government was criticised for not proceeding with administrative reforms more expeditiously by those Powers whose deeds had frustrated the loan, whether he will now make a full statement to the House showing the actual course of the negotiations?


A letter substantially in the terms indicated by the hon. Member was addressed to the representative of the six groups by the Chinese Minister of Finance, but the latter explained in a subsequent message to His Majesty's Minister that, although his letter might be interpreted as meaning that he desired to break with the groups and borrow elsewhere, it was not his intention to do so. In view, therefore, of the fact that negotiations must be considered as still proceeding and to be only temporarily in suspense, I cannot undertake to make any further statement especially as the Chinese Parliament is just meeting and the Chinese Government presumably desire to consult it.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is the fact, as appears from Mr. Hsuehhsi's letter, that it was only on the 3rd of March that the Powers first demanded that the financial advisers should be selected by nationality instead of freely by the Chinese Government, subject only to the approval of the Powers?


I must ask for notice of that.

8. Mr. ALDEN

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can state whether any nation has yet recognised the new Government at Peking; whether any communications have passed between the Great Powers relative to such recognition; and if he can also say when Great Britain intends to come to some definite decision on the subject?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative and to the second in the affirmative. For the third part of the question, I must refer the hon. Member to the answer which was given yesterday to an unstarred question from the hon. Member for East Nottingham.

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