HC Deb 20 June 1921 vol 143 c888
49. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister whether the Japanese occupation of Port Arthur under the original terms of the lease was to expire on 27th March, 1923; whether, as a result of the Japanese 48-hour ultimatum of 7th May, 1915, China abandoned her claim for the return of this territory; whether, in regard to this and other results of the ultimatum, the United States in May, 1915, notified their refusal to recognise these results; and whether, as they affect our undertaking to return Wei-hai-Wei when Port Arthur is returned, we will notify China that we will not take advantage of negotiations to which we were not a party and will now negotiate for the return of Wei-hai-Wei?


The facts are as stated in the first part of the question. By one of the Sino-Japanese treaties of 25th May, 1915, the term of the lease of Port Arthur, which was originally 25 years, was extended to 99 years. On 15th May, 1915, the American Legation at Peking sent a Note to the Chinese Foreign Office recording the refusal of the United States Government to recognise such articles of the Sino-Japanese Agreements as might conflict with the provisions of any existing treaty between China and the United States. His Majesty's Government as at present advised do not propose to take any action in the sense suggested in the last part of the question.

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