HC Deb 17 February 1914 vol 58 cc740-1

asked the Foreign Secretary whether his attention has been called to the situation which has been created by the offer of the Republic of China to meet claims for compensation for direct damage to the property of foreigners during the military operations of 1911–12; whether a number of claims for indirect damage have been made; whether the British claim is at present confined to direct damages, but with the proviso that it will be substantially increased if other European Powers continue to press claims based on indirect losses; and whether His Majesty's Government is supporting the appeal of the Chinese Government that the whole question be referred to the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague?


The question of claiming compensation from the Chinese Government for damages incurred by foreigners as a result of the Revolution is at present under discussion between the Chinese Government and the Legations at Peking, and accordingly I am not in a position to make any detailed statement on the subject. It is the case that the British claim is confined to direct damages. I am not aware that the Chinese Government has made any appeal for arbitration.


In the event of an appeal will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence with the Powers in the matter?


I cannot make a definite promise, but I will consider it if the question comes up. We are very anxious, of course, that the claims should all be put on the same footing so far as we have power.

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