36. Mr. MALONE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state the present position in regard to the negotiations between His Majesty's Government and the Nanking Government; whether, as the Government of the United States of America has expressed regret to the Nanking Government for the barrage put down by British and American warships on Socony Hill, His Majesty's Government intends to associate themselves with this matter; whether the question of applying any of the money paid and accumulated since 1922 on account of the Boxer indemnity fund to railway construction in the province of Kwantung, and to the reconstruction of the portions of Canton which were burnt during the disturbances of last December, has been raised in the course of the negotiations; and, if so, whether the members of the advisory committee appointed under the China Indemnity (Application) Act are being consulted in the matter?
§ 37. Mr. MAXTON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that during the negotiations with the Nationalist Government of China for the settlement of claims arising out of the incidents which occurred at Nanking on 24th March, 1927, His Majesty's Minister vetoed discussion of the bombardment of the city by British warships, and that his refusal has led to the breakdown of the negotiations, he is prepared to remove this obstacle to a resumption of the negotiations?
The present position in regard to the Nanking negotiations was stated in the answer which my right hon. Friend gave yesterday in reply to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones). The question of the application of the Boxer Indemnity has not been raised in this connection. There was no bombardment of the city of Nanking by British or other warships, and there is no foundation for the statement that the American Government has expressed regret to the Nanking Government for the barrage put down by British and American warships on Socony Hill.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Can the Minister say whether the individuals who have been protected out there, our nationals, our kith and kin, supposed to be, are going to pay the piper for the expense which this country incurred in protecting them?
§ Mr. MAXTON
Can the hon. Member say whether the negotiations have broken down, and whether there has been such bombardment as mentioned in the question, or not?
I never said anything of the sort. I said that there had been no bombardment of the city of Nanking.