HC Deb 28 February 1929 vol 225 cc2325-9

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £115,000, be granted to His Majesty to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending the 31st day of March, 1929, to meet the excess cost involved in the employment of extra troops in China not provided for in the Army Estimates of the year.


The last time we came to the House with a Supplementary Estimate for the Forces sent to China we asked for £3,000,000, but this time we are asking for £115,000, and the reduction shows how successful the whole policy has been, how we have been able to reduce the Forces employed there and consequently to reduce the expenditure, and how, to a large extent, that expenditure, which during the past year has been £565,000, has been met out of savings from other Departments. We were aware last year that we would have to produce this Estimate, and accordingly we have been economising all the year to try and meet it out of savings. We have brought it forward as a Supplementary Estimate in order to give the House an opportunity to see exactly how that matter is getting on, and also in order that our Estimates from year to year may be comparable with one another. If we had included it in the ordinary Estimates, it would have thrown out these Estimates, and made them incapable of being compared fairly with the Estimates for other years.

The hon. and gallant Member for Montrose (Sir R. Hutchison) asked me a question in an earlier part of the Debate with regard to the health of these troops. Their health has considerably improved —I could give him the figures if he wished—though their health is not, of course, satisfactory, as Shanghai is not an ideal place for troops to be quartered in. We have considerably reduced those troops already, and it may be possible in the future to reduce them still further. As to the situation there, as the Committee is aware, the discipline has been admirable, their health has improved, and they have got on well with the local people. There has been a remarkable absence of any regrettable incidents such as occasionally happen when troops are quartered among foreign populations, and they have got on admirably with the contingents of other nations which have also had troops there.


What is the period of service of the troops in China? Is it a year a year and a half, or two years? Some three officers have been sent from China to India after serving for two years in China, and I wonder whether that is the ordinary practice or whether those three officers were just unfortunate in having to go to another hot climate after China.


I cannot say for certain what the period of duty is at present. The officers concerned were I think unfortunate, and the hon. and gallant Gentleman will probably find that they

were on their way to India at the time and were stopped in China owing to the circumstances that arose there, and that they have now gone on to complete their period of duty.


If the hon. Gentleman will inquire he will find that there are other cases of officers who have gone on to India. It is hard on them, and I would ask him to look into it.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 143: Noes, 60.

Division No. 247.] AYES. [10.47 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Foster, Sir Harry S. Nuttall, Ellis
Albery, Irving James Fraser, Captain Ian Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Gates, Percy Owen, Major G.
Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William James Glyn, Major R. G. C. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Gower, Sir Robert Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Apsley, Lord Grant, Sir J. A. Pilcher, G.
Ashley. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Raine, Sir Walter
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Remer, J. R.
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Grotrian, H. Brent Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Gunston, Captain D. W. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Hacking, Douglas H. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Rye, F. G.
Blundell. F. N. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Salmon, Major I.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Henderson, Capt R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Herbert, S.(York,N. R.,Scar.& Wh'by) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Hilton, Cecil Sandeman, N. Stewart
Brass, Captain W. Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Briant, Frank Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Sanderson, Sir Frank
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Briscoe, Richard George Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n) Shaw, Lt.-Col.A.D. Mcl. (Renfrew,W.)
Brittain, Sir Harry Home, Sir G. H. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Skelton, A. N.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Hurd, Percy A. Smithers, Waldron
Bullock, Captain M. Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Carver, Major W. H. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Stanley, Lord (Fyide)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Iveagh, Countess of Streatfelld, Captain S. R.
Christie, J. A. Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Tasker, R. Inigo.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Kindersley, Major Guy M. Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell
Conway, Sir W. Martin King, Commodore Henry Douglas Tinne, J. A.
Cooper, A. Duff Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Cope, Major Sir William Long, Major Eric Tomlinson, R. P.
Couper, J. B. Looker, Herbert William Ward, Lt.Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.) Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Warrender, Sir Victor
Crawfurd, H. E. Lumley, L. R. Watts, Sir Thomas
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. McLean, Major A. Wells, S. R.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) MacRobert, Alexander M. White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple
Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro) Margesson, Captain D. Williams. A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Davies, Dr. Vernon Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Womersley, W. J.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington. S.) Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Moreing, Captain A. H. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Fermoy, Lord Nelson, Sir Frank Major Sir George Hennessy and
Fielden, E. B. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Captain Wallace.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Bromfield, William Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Buchanan, G. Hardle, George D.
Ammon, Charles George Charleton, H. C. Hayday, Arthur
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Cluse, W. S. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)
Bellamy, A. Day, Harry Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Benn, Wedgwood Duncan, C. Kelly, W. T.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Kennedy, T.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Grenfelt, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lawrence, Susan
Broad, F. A. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Lawton, John James
Lindley, F. W. Potts, John S. Stephen, Campbell
Longbottom, A. W. Purcell, A. A. Sullivan, Joseph
Lowth, T. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Tinker, John Joseph
Lunn, William Sakiatvala, Shapurji Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Palsley) Shield, G. W. Wellock, Wilfred
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Shinwell, E. Westwood, J.
Murnin, H. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilffe)
Naylor, T. E. Sitch, Charles H. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Oliver, George Harold Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Windsor, Walter
Palin, John Henry Smith, Rennie (Penlstone)
Pet hick-Lawrence. F. W. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Ponsonby, Arthur Stamford, T. W. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again To-morrow.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

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