46. Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
asked the Prime Minister when an opportunity will be afforded for a full statement to be made to the House regarding the present position of affairs in China and the policy which is being adopted by the Government to safeguard British interests, in view of the results to British trade of the existing conditions?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)
I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to my hon. Friend the 281 Member for South-East Essex on the 10th February. No material change has yet taken place in the situation in China, and I do not think a further statement would serve any useful purpose at present.
§ Mr. DENNIS HERBERT
Has the right hon. Gentleman seen, or has he any knowledge of some news that appears in the Press this morning to the effect that the Commissioner of Customs has closed the port of Canton, and does he not consider that that shows that the people on the spot are doing their best to uphold the interests of British trade?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I have seen the statement referred to by my hon. Friend. The Foreign Secretary is unable to be here to-day. Doubtless any hon. Member putting down a question would hear what my right hon. Friend has to say.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Was the closing of the port of Canton done without consultation with the Government?