HC Deb 04 June 1930 vol 239 cc2127-8
1. Mr. DAY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a statement respecting acts of piracy that have occurred in Chinese waters against British ships; whether any further recent action has been taken by His Majesty's Government to protect British persons or ships; and will he give particulars of any cases on which he has information where compensation during the previous 12 months has been paid by the Hong Kong Government to the families of officers involved in these piratical attacks?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Arthur Henderson)

As I informed my hon. Friend on the 21st of May, two British ships were attacked by Chinese pirates during the 12 months ended the 1st of May. The temporary arrangements for the protection of British ships by military guards are being continued for the present, but agreement has now been reached with the shipping companies as to the form of the extended police guard organisation which will take their place. The necessary steps to put the system into effect are now in hand, and it is hoped to commence the supply of these guards in lieu of the military at the beginning of July. I am informed by my Noble Friend, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, that a grant of £468 by the Hong Kong Government to the estate of Mr. K. F. Woodward, the third officer of the steamship "Haiching," who was killed in the attack on that vessel in December, 1929, has been approved.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the report shows that piracy is on the increase in these waters?


Have the Government considered the question of having a special naval patrol in the waters in which this piracy is rife?


I am afraid that cannot say that that aspect of the case has been considered, but I will make a note of it.

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