HC Deb 07 March 1928 vol 214 cc1114-5
9. Mr. AMMON

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the improved relations now existing between this country and all parts of China, he will consider giving effect to the recommendations of the Boxer Indemnity Commission; and whether for this purpose he will endeavour to secure the co-operation of the North and South Governments of China for the purpose of carrying out the proposals of that Commission?


While I welcome the hon. Member's statement that our relations with the various regional administrations in China are greatly improved, I must observe that it is not yet clear that these administrations have yet achieved any degree of permanency, stability or authority, whereas they are in many instances undoubtedly hostile to each other. Apart from the factional quarrels in the Kuomintang ranks, the Party Conference recently held at Shanghai is reported to have declared its resolution to prosecute the campaign against the North and to continue the advance against Peking. In these circumstances, I fear that it would be useless to attempt to give effect to the recommendations of the Boxer Indemnity Commission so long as the present condition of confusion and uncertainty prevails throughout the country.


Can my hon. Friend say what the North and South Governments of China, set out in this question, mean? Are there any defined Governments of North and South China at the present moment?


That is really what I meant when I said in my answer that whatever regional Governments there may be at this moment show very little stability or authority.


Is it not possible to find responsible men in both parts who might undertake this duty?


Under the provisions of the Act relating to the Boxer Indemnity, the money is to be applied for the welfare of the whole of China, and, until we find some kind of central authority to deal with it, it is very difficult to do anything at all.