HC Deb 27 June 1918 vol 107 cc1194-5
2. Colonel YATE

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the feeling in Hong Kong on the subject of the retention of Germans in the British concession on the Island of Shameen; and whether, considering that His Majesty's Charge d'Affaires in China sanctioned the proposal of the Consul-General to allow these Germans to remain on Shameen on his own initiative without any orders from the Foreign Office, he will now direct His Majesty's Minister in China, who has since returned to his post, to inform these Germans that they can no longer remain in the British Concession, and direct them to remove elsewhere?

The MINISTER of BLOCKADE (Lord Robert Cecil)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. His Majesty's Government do not, in existing circumstances, propose to take the action suggested in the second part of the hon. Member's question, as they consider that the Germans who have been allowed to remain in the British Concession on the Island of Shameen under the supervision of the British municipal police, and subject to the observance of the strict conditions imposed on them by His Majesty's Consul-General, will have less opportunities for making mischief or for engaging in plots and intrigues against His Majesty's Government and their Allies than they would if they were turned out of the Concession and allowed to remain at large in Canton or elsewhere in the interior.

Colonel YATE

Can the Noble Lord give us any ground for that opinion of his? Most people think exactly opposite.


I cannot give any ground except that which appears on the surface of the answer, that a German under supervision is less harmful than a German who is not.

Colonel YATE

Does the Noble Lord realise how much depends on supervision, and that when you have all these Germans celebrating the "Lusitania" and other things in the British Concession to the annoyance of other inhabitants there, the latter do not like it?

Back to
Forward to