HC Deb 27 June 1928 vol 219 cc503-4

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the proposals of the Chinese to make changes in the postal administration involving a curtailment of the powers of the foreign co-director-general and the reduction of the foreign staff; and whether, in view of the undertaking given by China when the foreign post offices were withdrawn that she would not change the status of the foreign co-director-general or otherwise interfere with the maintenance of the foreign control which existed in 1922, he will say what action he proposes to take?


On the 6th February last an agreement was concluded between the Ministries of Communications at Peking and Nanking for the joint operation of the Northern and Southern sections of the postal administration under two Chinese Directors-General at Peking and Nanking respectively, involving some curtailment of the powers of the French co-Director-General. Protests were lodged by the Diplomatic Body with the Northern and Southern authorities against this breach of the assurance given by China at Washington in 1922 that the Chinese Government contemplated no change in the postal administration so far as the status of the foreign co-Director-General was concerned. I am not aware what proposals, if any, have been made for the reduction of the foreign staff. As a result of recent developments in China, it is now proposed that the post of Director-General at Peking shall be abolished, and that postal affairs shall be controlled by the Director-General at Nanking, involving the transfer of the administration thither. The situation is being closely watched by the interested foreign representatives in Peking.


Has any reply been received from the authorities to the protests made by the Powers?


Perhaps I ought to have provided myself with that information. I should be glad if my hon. Friend would put a further question to me.

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