HC Deb 17 November 1937 vol 329 cc371-3
5. Mr. Moreing

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information as to the nature of the present administration in the Peking and Tientsin area since the occupation of the Japanese army; how this administration is composed; and whether there is any evidence as to how it is accepted by the Chinese populace?

Viscount Cranborne

Towards the end of September the formation of a joint Peking-Tientsin Peace Preservation Association was announced. This Association, assisted by a number of Japanese advisers, has as its chairman a former Chinese Prime Minister, Mr. Kao Ling-wei. The positions of responsibility appear to be held by Chinese who are prepared to work with the Japanese authorities and who are considered by the latter to have the confidence of the local populace. The administration appears to have been accepted quietly.

Mr. Wedgwood Benn

Does the Noble Lord really think that the Chinese nation accept these camouflages?

Viscount Cranborne

I have given the facts, and if the right hon. Member wants any further information, perhaps he will put down a question.

Mr. Benn

But does the Noble Lord accept the Japanese view that this so-called peace preservation committee is accepted with good will by the Chinese?

Viscount Cranborne

I have already said that it appears to have been accepted quietly.

Mr. Watkins

Does not the Noble Lord think that it is a little incongruous that a peace preservation body should have Japanese as advisers?

6. Mr. Moreing

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Concession in Tientsin is able to carry on trade without interruption and is otherwise free from interference?

Viscount Cranborne

My right hon. Friend has received no reports to indicate that any obstacles have been placed in the way of trade by merchants in the British Concession at Tientsin, and he is not aware that the Concession is otherwise subject to any interference.

9. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the findings contained in the Resolution of the Brussels Conference, His Majesty's Government will recommend to the Governments concerned the desirability of withholding all further supplies of arms and munitions of war from Japan while continuing to supply China?

Viscount Cranborne

The position at the moment is that the parties to the Declaration issued by the Brussels Conference on 15th November are considering what is to be their common attitude in view of the position taken up by the Japanese Government in regard to the interpretation of her obligations under the Washington Treaty and the Kellogg Pact. Pending the reassembly of the Brussels Conference it is impossible to estimate the chances of securing agreement on any joint line of action.

Mr. Henderson

Will the Government bear in mind that if China is to be helped positive action will have to be taken in addition to passing resolutions?

Mr. Benn

Does the Noble Lord recognise any obligation upon His Majesty's Government under the resolution which they fathered at Geneva?

Mr. Vyvyan Adams

Can the Noble Lord say whether there are in contemplation any measures of collective pressure against the aggressor in the Far East?

Viscount Cranborne

Perhaps the hon. Member will put that question down.

Mr. Noel-Baker

In the view of the Government is the Declaration of Brussels in any way inconsistent with the condemnation of Japanese aggression made at Geneva?

Viscount Cranborne

No, Sir.

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