HC Deb 17 June 1925 vol 185 cc475-7

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many naval ratings and marines have been landed at Shanghai; what will be their duties; and whether the cost will be met by the foreign municipality?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Bridgeman)

The Commander-in-Chief, China, reported on the 9th June that 340 British naval ratings and marines had been landed at Shanghai. Their duties are to protect the lives and property of British subjects. The cost is borne by Navy Votes.


When did the people of Shanghai become so valuable and the people at home not so valuable, seeing that no measure is taken to protect the lives of poor people in this country from starvation?

9. Colonel DAY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what specific steps have been and are being taken in the disturbed areas in China, in which the recent disturbances have taken place, to protect the lives of unarmed British nationals?

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL (Parliamentary Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

Chinese forces are co-operating with the civil authorities in the maintenance of order, and, where necessary, naval vessels are despatched to centres of disturbance and local volunteer forces are mobilised. 1,100 troops of various nationalities, other than Chinese, were landed at Shanghai, and an additional 800 kept in reserve. It is hoped that the situation there will soon permit of the withdrawal of part, if not all, of the forces. Measures which might appear provocative are carefully avoided. His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Pekin has been instructed to report immediately should he consider any further specific measures desirable.

Colonel DAY

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us the approximate number of unarmed British nationals there are there?


It would be impossible to state offhand, but if the hon. and gallant Member presses the point, of course I will make inquiries.


In the meantime would it not help to bring about the desired result if every Member of this House would do his best to support the Government of the day in a difficult situation?


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any British subjects have lost their lives during the disturbance at Shanghai; and whether the available forces of all foreign Powers are co-operating with our own to restore order in the disaffected area?


I have learnt with great regret of the murder of one British subject and the wounding of another. In reply to the last part of the question, the disturbances at Shanghai are primarly a matter for the civil authorities, but the available forces of all the foreign Powers are co-operating to lend support where necessary.

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