§ 1. Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has had any recent report respecting the number and condition of refugees in Shanghai; and what steps are being taken to deal with them?
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)
According to the most recent report, the number of refugees at Shanghai at the beginning of December was estimated at approximately 250,000 in Nantao, 100,000 in the International Settlement, and 50,000 in the French Concession. I understand that, as far as the two latter areas are concerned, these refugees are housed in camps established by various international and Chinese charitable bodies under the supervision of the local authorities. The food situation has recently been reported to be easier after a period of some shortage.
§ 4. Mr. Barnes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will publish a White Paper containing a record of the occasions of direct injury to British citizens, property, and interests by the military forces of Japan in China that have called forth representations from His Majesty's Government, together with the action taken by His Majesty's Government on each occasion and the form of reparation made by Japan?
§ Mr. Eden
In a number of individual cases, when His Majesty's Government have been compelled to make representations to the Japanese Government, the facts have already received full publicity. There will, of course, be a large number of claims for damage to British property and interests, but it has not yet been pos- 1576 sible to formulate many of them, still less to verify them, and it is, therefore, premature to consider publishing a list in a White Paper. Such details as exist are for the greater part in the hands of British representatives in China, and have not reached me.
§ Sir Percy Harris
Does Japan accept liability in principle for any damage done where it can be proved that Japanese are responsible?
§ Mr. Thorne
Are the Japanese Government responsible for plundering by soldiers when they enter towns?
§ 9. Captain Plugge
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he proposes to publish the correspondence which has passed between this country and the United States on the subject of the Japanese attacks on British and American warships in the Far East; and, if not, whether he can give its nature?
§ Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
Have any proposals for general reinforcement been discussed with the United States?
§ 10. Captain Plugge
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can now make any further statement as to the measure and nature of the compensation which is to be paid by the Japanese Government for casualties caused by their troops to British soldiers and sailors in the current hostilities?
§ Captain Plugge
Will His Majesty's Government make a specific claim, or will they await a definite offer by the Japanese Government?
§ Mr. Bellenger
Is it not the case that claims in respect of loss of life are in a different category from claims in respect of property, and will the right hon. Gentleman not press for a very early statement on such claims?
§ 14. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received any notification on the subject of the Japanese authorities proposing to take over the administration of any part of the Chinese Customs service?
§ 17. Mr. Noel-Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a statement concerning the present position of the Chinese Customs' administration at Tientsin?
§ Mr. Eden
So far as the position at Shanghai is concerned, I have at present nothing to add to the answer given to the hon. Members for Central Southwark (Mr. Day) and Kingswinford (Mr. A. Henderson) on 8th December. As regards Tientsin and Chinwangtao, I would refer the hon. Members to the reply given to the hon. Member for Kingswinford on 24th November, since when there has been no change in the situation. The question has not arisen in any other port.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
May we take it that the Government have no intention of recognising any assumption by Japanese authorities or by alleged Chinese authorities of rights which belong to the legitimate Chinese Government?
§ Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
Is any part of the Customs revenue now being lodged in Japanese banks or banks under Japanese control?
§ 15. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received any communications from Hong Kong relative to the situation created there by the extension of Japanese hostilities to the neighbourhood of Canton?
Will the right hon. Gentleman arrange that the Prime Minister might in the early part of the Debate to-morrow make some statement about the feared encirclement of Hong-Kong?
Yes, but is it not equally clear that it is reported that the Japanese contemplate invasion of Southern China?
§ 16. Mr. Noel-Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a statement concerning the recent air-bombardment of Canton?
§ 20. Mr. A. Henderson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give an assurance that His Majesty's Government will not recognise in any way the provisional government installed in Peking by the Japanese authorities?