HC Deb 15 July 1929 vol 230 cc7-9

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement as to the present position in China?


I have been anxious to give the hon. Member as full information as possible, but as this would involve occupying the time of the House unduly at Question Time, I am arranging to have the statement circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Perhaps the item of major interest concerns the report that the Soviet Government have issued an ultimatum to the Chinese Government arising out of the situation in Manchuria. On this matter I have no information except that which has appeared in the Press.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what troops we have at Shanghai or in other parts?


I am afraid that I shall have to include that in the long statement which I propose to circulate.


As the Home Secretary has said that relations still exist with Russia, will the right hon. Gentleman appeal to the Soviet Republic to lay the Manchurian dispute before the League of Nations?


I will consider that when I get some official information, but at present, as I have stated, I have nothing but what appeared in the Press.

Following is the statement:

During the month of May there was a serious invasion of the province of Kwangtung by Kwangsi forces. The invasion was repelled and Kwangtung troops advanced into Kwangsi. The Canton authorities claim that they have now captured Nanning, the capital of the province, and have broken the power of the Kwangsi faction.

The strained situation between Feng Yuhsiang and the National Government developed into a state of war towards the end of May, when Marshal Feng destroyed the railways giving access to his territory and the State Council issued a mandate ordering his subjugation and accusing him of receiving a monthly subsidy from the Soviet Government and of being in league with Communists.

The subsequent campaign involved very little actual fighting, Marshal Feng standing strictly on the defensive, while Yen-Hsi-shan, the Governor of Shansi, who has been ordered to assist in the attack on him, maintained an attitude of detachment. On 28th June, Marshal Chiang Kai-shek arrived in Peking, followed two days later by Yen-shan, Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang also arrived in Peking from Manchuria on 7th July. Both Chiang Kai-shek and Chang Hsueh-liang left Peking on 10th July, the former for Nanking and the latter for Mukden, and the position between Feng Yu-hsiang, Yen Hsi-shan and Chiang Kai-shek remains obscure.

His Majesty's Consul-General at Harbin reports that the Chinese authorities took over the Chinese Eastern Railway Telegraph Administration on 10th July. Various Russian institutions were closed on the same day by the police on account of their alleged propagandist activities. The Communist employés of the railway are being kept under strict surveillance; 35 of them were deported on 10th July, and, according to the Consul's information, a further batch, including the general and assistant managers, was to be deported on 11th July.

The general and assistant managers of the railway, and the Soviet heads of all the departments, have been dismissed and replaced by Chinese.

It is reported in the Press that the Soviet Government have now issued an ultimatum to the Chinese Government in consequence of these actions, but I have so far received no official confirmation of this report.

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