§ 39. Sir CLEMENT KINLOCH-COOKE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can make any further statement as to the position at Hankow?
I am glad to be able to state that the latest news from Hankow shows a very appreciable improvement. The general strike, which, as the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition was informed on the 1st December, was threatened for the 4th December, has not materialised, nor has the Customs strike, which was mentioned in the reply given to him on the 29th November.
His Majesty's Consul-General at Hankow reports that the strike in the Japanese concession has been settled; negotiations for the settlement of other disputes are in progress; and the labour situation is appreciably easier for the moment. Unions are being formed daily, and demands for increase of wages will inevitably follow, but His Majesty's Consul-General does not anticipate that they will be of an impossible nature; the Chinese authorities appear for the moment to be inclined to restrain the Unions.
The Chinese authorities also appear to be making an effort to secure the observance of the concession regulations, and it is hoped that the naval guards will be withdrawn to-day.
His Majesty's Minister, Mr. Lampson, is now on his way to Hankow, in order to examine the situation on the spot.
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
Does the hon. Gentleman really believe that it is advisable to withdraw the naval guards?
I can assure my hon. Friend that everything possible will be done for the protection of British life.