HC Deb 10 May 1927 vol 206 cc204-5
50. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is taking any steps to find out, in view of a prolonged occupation of Shanghai, whether any part of the expenses of the force can be met by a local contribution or from any other of the Powers interested in the retention there of our forces?


No, Sir. As stated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on the 14th March last in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for the Central Division of Hull, all the Powers interested have made their own preparations, naval or military, for the defence of their own interests, and no doubt all have incurred expense in so doing; and, as I informed the same hon. and gallant Member on the 17th March, I am not prepared to approach the British community in China at a moment when they are suffering more anxieties than any other class of British subjects.


Is it not the British force which has been sent to Shanghai that is in fact securing all nationals in the Shanghai settlement, and therefore would it not be only fair that we should get some contribution from those who are benefiting by the presence of our force?


The British force, no doubt, is the main cause which has prevented the destruction of Shanghai, but I see no reason why a special surcharge should be levied on the British community. Obviously, we have no power to levy a charge on the foreign community.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

In view of the long occupation, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the question of some reduction in the rents we are paying for the buildings which have been leased in Shanghai for the use of our troops?


Yes, I certainly think that the Secretary of State for War should make inquiries from time to time to see that we are not charged emergency rates for these buildings, and I have no doubt this has been done.


Is it not a fact that the English community in Shanghai have already contributed very considerably, not only to the force itself, but to other amenities for the benefit of the force?


I have no doubt that is so.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

The Y.M.C.A.