§ 10. Mr. LOOKER
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the section of the Pekin-Mukden Railway which was seized by Chang Tso Lin in 1922 is still retained by him; that £1,150,000 of the British issue of the loan of 1898, which is a first charge upon the security of the permanent way, rolling stock, and entire property of the railway, with its freight and earnings, is still outstanding; that the surplus earnings of the railway are hypothecated as security for British loans and their services to the extent of about £2,000,000; and that the cash earnings of the railways were $318,000 in October last as compared with $1,480,000 in October, 1923, and $143,000 in November last as compared with $1,470,000 in November, 1923; and if His Majesty's Government will make such representations as will put an end to the wrongful retention of such 250 miles of the line, its equipment and revenue, which constitutes a serious breach of the railway agreement and impairs the security upon which British capital has been furnished not only for this but for other Chinese lines?
I am aware of the general position. Representations have been and continue to be made both at Pekin and at Mukden to secure the return of the section of the Pekin-Mukden Railway seized by Chang Tso Lin to the control of the railway company.
§ Mr. LOOKER
Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been drawn to the article in the "Times" yesterday, from its Pekin correspondent, particularly relating to the position of the railways there at present, and does he not think that the time has arrived for him to consult with the other Powers interested, with a view to taking definite steps to settle the position in China, and is he not further aware—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must not make a speech. Supplementary questions ought to be very brief.
I read the article with much interest. I have been in communication with the other Powers 2197 concerned, and if I saw an opportunity of advantageously taking any steps, I should do so.