HC Deb 04 April 1927 vol 204 cc1695-7
67. Mr. SMITH

also asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what advice or instruction has been given to British subjects residing in China outside of Shanghai, since the day of despatch of extra military forces from Great Britain; the dates on which any advice was given; and what is the present position of British subjects now-residing outside Shanghai?


As was stated in the reply returned on the 7th of March last to the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Mosley), British subjects in the interior of China at places where disturbances were to be anticipated have been advised from time to time since November last to withdraw to places of safety. This advice has been reiterated as occasion arose by His Majesty's Consuls, and has been extended to further districts when necessary. In a continuous process of this nature it is not possible to give a series of exact dates, but I may say that it was given in respect of North Honan on 20th January; on 26th March His Majesty's Consular Officers at Ningpo, Swatow, Foochow, Chinkiang, Wuhu, Kiukiang, Hankow, Yunnanfu and Kiungchow were warned to be prepared to evacuate the treaty ports if necessary; on 28th March the advice was extended to British subjects in the interior of the Tientsin, Chefoo, Tsingtao and Tsinan Consular districts; and on 30th March to every part of the interior of China. Chungking has been completely evacuated, as has also Changsha, except for His Majesty's Consul, the Mother Superior of the Franciscan Mission, and His Majesty's warship stationed there; Ichang is to be similarly evacuated at the earliest possible date. All British subjects who elect to disregard this repeated advice have been warned that they do so entirely at their own risk and on their own responsibility.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any estimate of the number of British subjects still in the interior of China?


I was rather reluctant to give any estimate. The numbers vary from day to day, but I do not think there are more than 200.


can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the advice to British nationals to leave those places extended to Nanking, and the date upon which it was extend?d to Nanking?


I must have notice of that question.

80. Mr. MOSLEY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state the number of British subjects still resident in districts in China where no British troops or warships are stationed?


All British nationals up country have been advised to leave. The greater number have already left and others are leaving. If any decide to remain, they do so against the advice of His Majesty's Government, and at their own risk.


That does not include the people in Tientsin?


No, it does not.