HC Deb 29 July 1936 vol 315 cc1492-3

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps have been taken in regard to the arrest by the Japanese authorities in Manchuria of a British-Indian subject in contravention of British extra-territorial rights; whether the allegations of torture during the period of arrest have been substantiated; and whether he will have regard to the facts of the case in considering any future demand which may be made for the abolition of extra-territorial rights in Manchuria?


On 17th June, the Japanese authorities arrested a British-Indian subject, Ibrahim Abdullah Hussein by name, his wife and son in the South Manchurian Railway zone at Hskinking on charges of defrauding three Japanese shops of small sums. In accordance with extra-territorial rights, the prisoners should have been handed over forthwith to the competent British consular authorities. As soon as the facts came to the notice of those authorities representations on this subject were immediately made by His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo to the Japanese Government, and Hussein, his wife and son were eventually handed over to His Majesty's Consul-General at Mukden on 5th July. From medical examination and evidence taken on oath it is clear that the prisoners had been severely tortured. Strong representations regarding this deplorable matter have been made to the Japanese Government. As was stated in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton (Lieut.-Commander Fletcher) on 24th July, the Japanese authorities are making inquiries and I am informed that the result will be communicated to His Majesty's Government as soon as possible. The answer to the last part of the question is, Yes, Sir.


As it will be impossible to raise the question again, except by question and answer, will my right hon. Friend press for a very early reply from the Japanese Government, if, in fact, he does not receive it within the next few days?


Yes, certainly. I think that it is clear from my answer that from the moment we heard of this incident our authorities in the Far East and the Foreign Office here have done their utmost in a matter which I do regard, as I have said, as quite deplorable.


Cannot a (substantial amount of compensation be asked for from the Japanese authorities for the torture of British subjects?


That, of course, will be a matter to be considered when I get the answer