HC Deb 18 November 1930 vol 245 c213

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the total establishment of British troops in China, including the garrison of Hong Kong; what was the purpose of the recent military expeditions up the Yangtse; and whether he will make a statement concerning the military situation?


The establishment of British, Indian and Colonial troops in China, including those in the Hong Kong area, is approximately 360 officers and 7,000 other ranks. As regards the second part of the question, no military expeditions have been sent up the Yangtze River. When at the beginning of last August there were fears that a force of some 40,000 bandits would advance on Hankow, His Majesty's Government authorised the despatch of a company of Infantry from Shanghai to be placed on board ship at the disposal of the commander of the naval forces normally stationed on the Yangtze. Fortunately the advance on Hankow was not pursued and the troops returned to Shanghai without having been landed. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 3rd November to the right hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood).


Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that he has sufficient troops out there for the protection of British interests and particularly British lives?


I can assure the House—


That does not arise out of the question on the Paper.