HC Deb 19 January 1937 vol 319 cc28-9
62. Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information to give the House as to the position of affairs in the Far East?

69. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement regarding events in China?

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

Attacks on the province of Suiyuan by a mixed body of Mongolian and Manchukuo irregulars were repulsed in December by the troops of Fu Tso-yi, Governor of the Province, assisted by reinforcements of Nanking Government troops. Meanwhile negotiations in Nanking between the Chinese Government and the Japanese Ambassador were suspended and have not yet been resumed, but the Japanese Ambassador is reported to have received instructions to resume them on matters outstanding between the two countries. A settlement of two incidents in which Japanese nationals have been murdered in China had already been reached. In December a mutiny occurred at Sian among the troops of Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang, who demanded an alliance against Japan with the Communists, whom they had orders to suppress. The Generalissimo, Chiang Kai-shek, who had gone to Sian with the object of dealing with the trouble before it came to a head, was made captive by the mutineers, and was only released after many days of suspense. Marshal Chang thereafter accompanied him to Nanking to submit to trial on a charge of mutiny and was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment and loss of civil rights. The sentence of imprisonment was later remitted on the ground that he had acted in good faith. Central Government authority does not appear to have been fully re-established in the affected areas; the local leaders remain defiant and Central Government troops are reported to have been ordered against them.