HC Deb 02 July 1928 vol 219 cc971-2
41. Mr. LOOKER

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in what cases the premises of British firms at Nanking have been damaged by Nationalist troops or otherwise; whether any such premises are still in the occupation of troops or officials of the Nanking Government; whether any and, if so, what steps have been taken to secure compensation for any damage done and to obtain the rendition of any premises unlawfully occupied to their British owners; what reply has been made by the Nanking Government to any such representations which have been made; and why the British firms referred to should not be re-established in the premises belonging to them?


I understand that the premises of many, if not all, British firms at Nanking have suffered damage, but I have no detailed list. My latest information shows that, after being evacuated on the 21st of January, they were re-occupied on the 1st of February; I have no information regarding the present position. The other points raised by my hon. Friend are all bound up with the negotiations for the settlement of the outrages of March, 1927, regarding which I would refer him to the replies given to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones) on the 4th of April last, and to the hon. Member for Central Southwark (Mr. Day) on the 19th of April.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some firms have been turned out of their premises at Nanking for 18 months and are suffering serious loss of business in consequence; and can he hold out any hope of the Nanking Government recognsing their obligations in this matter at an early date?


I cannot undertake to make promises in the name of the Nanking Government or to secure their fulfilment.