§ Mr. LOOKER
(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can assure the House that His Majesty's ships are in a position to afford protection to British men, women and children living on the coasts and up the waterways of China, in view of the fact that naval protection is the only protection on which they can rely in time of sudden danger?
The forces at the disposal of the Powers are believed to be 296 sufficient for the purpose indicated in any contingency that can be reasonably foreseen
§ Mr. LOOKER
May I ask whether, in view of the extent and disposition of the Fleet in China, as stated in the "Times" this morning, from which it appears that no ships are at present stationed at any coast port, the hon. Gentleman considers that the Fleet in China is adequate in numbers for the protective duties which rest upon it at the present moment?
I think the list which appears in the "Times" this morning only refers to British ships, and does not include ships of other Powers, but I will take the earliest possible opportunity of bringing the matter before the Admiralty, so that they can look into it.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether, in consequence of the ships having been sent there, the trouble is decreasing or increasing?
Would it not be possible for the Government to relieve the "F" and "G" squadrons in order to go out there to assist?