HC Deb 21 March 1927 vol 204 cc31-2
68. Sir F. HALL

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what amount has been invested by British subjects in Hankow municipal debentures; and whether, seeing that the abandonment of British control of the Concession in Hankow has affected the value of these debentures, it is the intention of the Government to guarantee the British investors concerned from loss resulting from the arrangements come to with the Cantonese Government?


The China Year Book for 1926 shows that the total amount of municipal debentures outstanding on 31st December, 1925, was Tls. 432,200 (say £55,000), but there is nothing to show how much of this is in British hands. The second part of the question is based on an assumption which, as explained in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff East (Sir C. Kinloch-Cooke) on 9th March, I am not prepared to admit.


Is it not a fact that a large number of these debenture holders invested their money in consequence of the security being under a British concession, and may I ask whether, owing to the change that has taken place, the hon. Gentleman will get into touch with the debenture holders to see what is the present position, and whether any rights are left to them with respect to their securities?


In the reply-to another hon. Member to which I referred my hon. and gallant Friend, it was pointed out that the fall in debentures was not so much due to the rendition of the concession at Hankow as to the general state of unrest throughout China.