§ 2. Mr. TREVELYAN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any settlement has been arrived at with the Canton Government to conclude the boycott of British trade at Hong King?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Austen Chamberlain)
As foreshadowed in the reply given on 28th September to the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence), an announcement of the termination of the Hong Kong boycott appeared in the Canton Gazette of 10th October, when all pickets on the Hong Kong frontier were withdrawn and restrictions on the crossing to and fro of passengers and goods were abandoned. At the same time the strike examination shed at Canton was demolished. While a return to normal conditions can only be reached gradually, there has already been some improvement. The train service between Hong Kong and Canton has been resumed, steamer services are almost normal and Chinese dealers are restocking with British piece goods. There is still, however, considerable anti-British agitation and many dealers still hesitate to deal openly with British merchants, and the boycott organisation is carrying on a campaign for the perpetuation of the boycott.
§ Mr. LOOKER
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the boycott shows some signs of revival, both in Canton and Swatow, particularly in the refusal to handle cargo taken there by various British liners, and can he say what action he will take in the matter to protect British interests concerned?
§ Mr. TREVELYAN
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this boycott was called off as a result of any definite understanding between the two Governments, or whether it was action by one side only?
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
There were conversations between His Majesty's Consul-General and the local authorities, but I could not say that this was the subject of any agreement.