HC Deb 16 December 1936 vol 318 c2440

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to a statement issued by the Inspector-General of Customs in China to the effect that the steps taken for the prevention of smuggling in North China can only be regarded as palliatives, that the decline in illicit imports may be attributed to the fact that the Tientsin markets are overstocked, and that the unprecedented restrictions placed upon the operation of the Customs prevention service in East Hopei render the exercise of normal preventive measures impossible; and whether he will instruct His Majesty's Ambassador in Tokyo to confer with the Japanese Government with a view to restoring a normal condition of trade in North China ports?


Yes, Sir, but I understand that the Inspector-General also indicated that the southward distribution of the smuggled goods had been checked with success. The matter has been one of those recently under discussion between the Chinese and Japanese Governments, and at the moment I do not consider it necessary to issue any further instructions to His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo. His Majesty's Government will naturally continue to watch the situation closely, and will take such action as may be considered appropriate in the interests of British trade and the security of loan obligations which might be affected.

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