HC Deb 13 April 1927 vol 205 cc342-3

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can state the relative strength of the naval and military forces which have been sent to China by Great Britain and the other treaty Powers?


The following is a statement of the naval forces at present, on the China station:

  • Great Britain.—13 cruisers, 2 aircraft carriers, 20 destroyers, 17 river gunboats, 12 submarines, 2 minesweepers, 2 submarine depot ships, 4 sloops, 1 hospital ship, 3 armed launches, 1 chartered river steamer.
  • United States.—4 cruisers, 12 torpedo boat destroyers, 11 gunboats, 1 yacht.
  • Japan.—11 cruisers, 22 torpedo boat destroyers, 1 mine-sweeper, 9 gunboats.
  • France.—8 gunboats, 3 despatch vessels, 1 mine-sweeper.
  • Italy.—1 cruiser, 2 gunboats, 1 torpedo boat destroyer.
  • Netherlands.—1 cruiser.
  • Portugal.—1 cruiser, 2 gunboats, 1 sloop.
  • Spain.—1 cruiser.
Of the figures given above for Great Britain the following are additional to normal establishment:
  • 8 cruisers.
  • 2 aircraft carriers.
  • 20 destroyers.
  • 2 river gunboats.
  • 1 hospital ship.
  • 3 armed launches.
  • 1 chartered river steamer.
I cannot say which of the foreign vessels are additional to establishment.

The British military forces now in China, excluding normal establishment, consist of 13 battalions of infantry and one Royal Marine, battalion, together with the necessary ancillary troops. In addition, there are four battalions now on their way to China.

The only other Treaty Power which has despatched fresh military forces to China is France. The following French troops have been sent to reinforce the local forces in the French Concession at Shanghai: One European battalion and two companies of Annamites, with ancillary troops.