HC Deb 16 December 1929 vol 233 cc949-50
14. Sir K. WOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present position in Nanking and Shanghai; what British warships and forces are now available for the protection of British nationals; and what defensive forces have been provided by America and other Powers?

17. Captain MACDONALD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has any further statement to make with regard to China?


So far as my information goes, the forces opposed to the Nanking Government have been defeated near Canton, and have made no further progress on any of the other main lines of attack. The situation at Nanking and Shanghai appears to be quiet. The naval forces available for the protection of British nationals in case of need consist of five cruisers, one aircraft carrier, eight destroyers, five sloops, and 18 gunboats. The available military forces consist of three battalions at Hong Kong, two at Shanghai and two at Tientsin, with small detachments at Peking and Wei-hai-wei. Other foreign Powers have an aggregate naval strength in China waters which is approximately the same, and about 8,000 troops, mainly at Tientsin and Shanghai.


Can my right hon. Friend say whether the women and children who took refuge on British warships have now been allowed to land again?


I answered a question the other day in which I said that some of them had been brought to Shanghai.


Can the right hon. Gentleman now say whether it is not a fact that this rising was caused by Soviet propaganda?


I have no information as to that.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, when he mentioned other Powers, he included Japan or not?


I must have notice of that question.

Commander WILLIAMS

When the right hon. Gentleman mentioned the fact of foreign naval forces being equal to British, does he mean that the whole of the British Naval Forces in China are at least as great as the whole of the foreign Naval Forces put together, including Japan?


I think I was dealing with a comparison of military forces.

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