HC Deb 20 June 1921 vol 143 cc887-8
48. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government has taken into consideration recent efforts towards constitutional government in China, its culture, and vast potentialities; whether he is aware that the census brings the population up to 447,000,000; whether, in pursuance of our historic mission of encouragement to China, the Government will now raise the status of our diplomatic representative to that of ambassador, as has been done in the case of Brazil with a population of 31,000,000; and whether any negotiations will be opened with the five other Powers who have post offices in China for the withdrawal of these post offices in recognition of China as a great Power?


His Majesty's Government naturally consider all facts of importance relating to China. There are various estimates of the population, which is believed to exceed 300,000,000. It is not proposed to raise the status of His Majesty's representative in existing conditions in China. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Commander BELLAIRS

In regard to the inferior status of the diplomatic repre- sentatives from and to China, is the hon. Member aware that the British Minister as well as the Allied Ministers gave a pledge at Pekin in August, 1917—I quote it verbatim—that the Powers would do all that rests with them to insure that China shall enjoy in her international relations the position and the regard due to a great country," and is not the hon. Gentleman's answer a violation of that pledge?


I do not think I can discuss that matter by way of question and answer.

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