HC Deb 15 June 1936 vol 313 c614

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has now completed his examination of the report of the inspector-general of the maritime customs as to the causes of the growth of smuggling in North China; and, in view of the damage to British trade, what action he proposes to take in the matter?


Yes, Sir. As regards the second part of the question my hon. Friend will be aware that representations have on more than one occasion been made to the Japanese Government. His Majesty's Government will continue to take any action which may be deemed useful.


asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he has yet obtained from His Majesty's Consuls-General in Shanghai and Hankow a report as to the extent of the injurious effect on British trade in these centres and in the Yangtze valley by the competition of goods smuggled into North China through East Hopei?

Captain EUAN WALLACE (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

I have received a telegraphic report from the Commercial Counsellor at Shanghai, comparing the Chinese Customs figures for the first four months of this year with the same period of 1935. Generally speaking this report indicates that the direct effect of smuggling on United Kingdom trade has not so far been substantial, because the goods smuggled are in general not of a type usually obtained from this country. The position is, however being closely watched, and I will send my hon. Friend a summary of the report.