§ 75. Mr. STEWART
asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether one of the stipulations of the Treaty of Peace was that the bronze astronomical instruments taken by the Germans from Peking after the Boxer rebellion should be restored to China; if so, whether this restoration has been carried out; and, if the restoration has not been effected, will the British Government use its influence to ensure the due carrying out of this provision of the Treaty, which would be much valued by our Chinese ally?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Cecil Harmsworth)
The restoration of these instruments is provided for by Article 131 of the Treaty of Versailles. I have no information that the restoration has been carried out, and as China has not signed the Treaty it is difficult to see how His Majesty's Government can take any action in the sense indicated in the last part of this question.
§ Mr. STEWART
Is it possible for us to use our influence to get these instruments removed to some neutral country, so that they can be in safe keeping?
Sir J. D. REES
Is is not a fact that these instruments are of great beauty and historic interest, and could they not be restored to the walls of Peking where they had been for centuries?
§ Mr. HARMSWORTH
That is so, but it is very difficult for His Majesty's Government to interfere in this particular instance.