HC Deb 06 February 1913 vol 48 cc4-5

asked whether the scheme imposed upon China by the six-Power financial group comprises the appointment of the groups' nominees to important positions in the revenue, audit, loan, and railway departments of China; what means, if any, are being taken by His Majesty's Government to guard against the appointment to those positions of creatures of any section of the group or of the group's local agents; and whether he has sanctioned the provisional appointment as chief of the new Chinese audit department of one Herr Rump, who, as head of the German railway bureau at Tientsin, was recently implicated in malpractices relating to the purchase of land for the German section of the Tientsin-Pukou Railway, financed and controlled by Germans?


It is understood that the appointments to various Chinese departments under the reorganisation loan will be made in consultation with the representatives of the Powers interested. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative. I am not aware that Herr Rump is not qualified for the post. So far as His Majesty's Government are aware, no appointment has yet been made.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the French ministers have objected to this particular man?


That is not a matter for me.


asked whether, seeing that the only trade advantage derived by Great Britain from the six-Power loan to China consists of the discount for brokerage and underwriting, His Majesty's Government will make it a condition of this loan that in the expenditure of the same all contracts and orders for materials which China is unable to supply from her native resources shall be put up to public tender of the respective nationalities in proportion to the amount of the loan subscribed by the respective sections of the group representing the same; that the appointment of all foreign employés in the Chinese service shall be in like proportions and open to public competition; and that the chiefs of the new Chinese departments shall be British so long as British commerce or British financial interest preponderates, in consonance with the treaty condition whereby the inspector-general shall be British?


Provision has already been made for an arrangement of the nature described by the hon. Member with regard to the contracts and orders for materials under the reorganisation loan. The appointments of foreigners in the Chinese services will, it is understood, be made by the Chinese Government in consultation with the representatives of the Powers interested. I am not prepared to make the new condition suggested in the last sentence of the hon. Member's question, which is not practicable.