HC Deb 10 February 1932 vol 261 cc825-6
10. Mr. COCKS

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can give any information regarding the situation at Shanghai and the efforts of Admiral Sir Howard Kelly to arrange a cessation of hostilities?


So far as the general situation is concerned, there is no material change since the reply given to the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) on the 3rd of February, except the arrival of Japanese reinforcements. I am not aware whether any result has yet been achieved in the negotiations for a cessation of hostilities, which, according to the latest information received, are continuing.

Mr. LANSBURY (by Private Notice)

asked the Lord President of the Council whether, in view of the danger to British subjects and the possibility of involving Great Britain in the hostilities now proceeding between Japan and China at Shanghai, he can tell the House if steps are being taken by the Powers or the League of Nations to secure the abandonment by the Japanese of the use of any section of the International Settlement as a base for operations against the Chinese?

The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL (Mr. Baldwin)

As I informed the right hon. Gentleman yesterday, representations have been made by His Majesty's Government to the Japanese Government on three occasions against the use of the International Settlement for other than defensive purposes. I understand that similar representations have been made by other Powers. Efforts to create a neutral zone, which would assist to obviate the danger referred to by the right hon. Gentleman, are still being actively pursued. The Council of the League of Nations is at present in session, and, I understand, is studying reports which it has called for from Shanghai.


Will the right hon. Gentleman and the Government consider whether, if the situation becomes really dangerous, it would not be better to evacuate our nationals, rather than become involved in this dispute?


I assure the right hon. Gentleman that all the circumstances are constantly under review, and we shall not lose sight of that or any other aspect of the problem.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House if the Japanese authorities are simply turning a deaf ear to all the representations that are being made?


No, Sir, certainly not.