HC Deb 28 November 1928 vol 223 cc393-4

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what British missionaries have recently been killed in China; and whether he will make a general statement regarding the present position of British missionaries in the disturbed areas of China?


During the past three years there have been the following cases of murders of British missionaries in China: Mrs. Sibley, who was murdered by a coolie, who appears to have been insane, in Chengtu on the 7th June, 1926; Mr. Slichter and child, regarding whom I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Central Southwark on the 2nd May, 1927: Miss Mann, who was shot by brigands near Taiyuanfu on the 12th instant. As regards the return of missionaries to the interior, on the 25th September, 1927, His Majesty's Consuls in China were authorised to deal with individual applications at their discretion, subject to the following conditions:

  1. (1) Permission for missionaries to return to the interior to be confined in general to men, and to he given only for those districts for which the Chinese authorities were prepared to issue the necessary passports.
  2. (2) Applicants to he informed specifically that His Majesty's Government did not encourage them to return, and that they did so at their own risk and on the understanding that they might be advised to evacuate again at short notice.
Consuls were instructed that, if they were in any doubt, they should act on the side of caution. On the 29th March last Consuls were further authorised to use their discretion in extending permission to return to women missionaries in the same conditions, and were again directed to act on the side of caution in cases of doubt.

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