HC Deb 22 November 1937 vol 329 cc829-33
10. Sir A. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that in the recent operations in the neighbourhood of Shanghai the Japanese have done their best to spare the foreign business and residential areas of the International Settlement; and whether he will approach the Japanese Government with a view to obtaining security for the Chinese refugees now crowding the settlement to enable them to return to their normal occupations?

Mr. Eden

It is premature at the present stage to attempt to form a final judgment on the point raised in the first part of the question. As regards the second part, it is not clear to me that any initiative on the part of His Majesty's Government is called for. The matter is in the first place one for the municipal authorities of the International Settlement, but I fear it is probably to a large extent still physically impossible for refugees to return to their normal occupations.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Has any intimation been received from the Japanese Government that they intend to take over in the International Settlement and the French Concession all those governmental functions heretofore exercised by the Chinese Government?

Mr. Eden

That is another matter. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member will put it down.

13. Mr. Vyvyan Adams

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether there are in contemplation any measures of pressure against the aggressor in the Far East?

Mr. Eden

My hon. Friend will appreciate that the object which the Powers concerned with the Far Eastern situation are pursuing is to find means of putting an end to the conflict by agreement. This is the basis of the work of the Brussels Conference which is still in session.

14. Mr. Thorne

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in connection with the Sino-Japanese clash near Seiping, at Marco Polo Bridge, the Nine-Power Treaty Conference has considered the correspondence sent by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China to the Japanese Foreign Secretary, and the replies sent to the Foreign Secretary of China?

Mr. Eden

The Chinese delegate did not bring any correspondence of the kind mentioned before the Conference which did not find it necessary to investigate the detailed history of the conflict. This had already been considered by the Assembly of the League of Nations. The salient point in the correspondence, if I interpret the hon. Member correctly, was the expression of readiness on the part of the Chinese Government which it contained to seek a solution of the dispute by pacific means. This attitude was given renewed expression by the Chinese delegate at Brussels, and was taken into due account by the Conference in its proceedings.

17. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in accordance with the terms of the League of Nations Assembly resolution of 6th October, 1937, His Majesty's Government have considered how far individually they can extend aid to China; whether he will state the extent of such aid; and whether the United States Government has been made aware thereof, and informed that to such extent the United States Government will receive the full co-operation of His Majesty's Government?

Mr. Eden

I regret that it is not possible to give detailed information such as was asked for upon matters in respect of which decisions have to be taken almost daily. As regards the last part of the question, I would point out that it is a matter of individual action, and consequently not one of co-operation with other countries in particular measures, though His Majesty's Government do, of course, keep in close touch with the United States Government on all matters affecting the situation in the Far East.

Mr. Henderson

May we take it that His Majesty's Government are still prepared to go as far as the Government of the United States are prepared to go in helping China?

Mr. Eden

I would rather like to see those words on the Paper, but before the Brussels Conference took place I accepted the definition of the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton), and that is still the policy of His Majesty's Government.

Mr. Benn

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether we are doing anything to implement our promise at Geneva to extend individual aid to China?

Mr. Eden

If the right hon. Gentleman will be good enough to read the first part of my answer, I think that he will understand the position.

Mr. Thorne

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that a few bombs on Tokyo would put an end to it?

23. Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give an assurance that the conditions under which the International Settlement at Shanghai is held and administered will be in no way varied without the consent of the Chinese Government?

Mr. Eden

The conditions under which the International Settlement at Shanghai is administered are the Land Regulations, which cannot be modified without the consent of the Chinese Government.

Mr. Benn

Do we understand that these demands which appear to have been made by the Japanese Generals at Shanghai cannot possibly be satisfied?

Mr. Eden

That is rather a different question. My answer has been carefully drafted, and I think the right hon. Gentleman will find that it completely covers the question.

Mr. Benn

The point is an important one. It does mean that in no way the Municipality of Shanghai will be made agents for the Japanese Army in pursuance of their policy there?

Mr. Eden

The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that these questions are of importance, and I would like to see them on the Paper.

26. Commander Locker - Lampson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what compensation has been paid by the Japanese Government to the British Ambassador who was recently wounded by Japanese soldiers?

Mr. Eden

No. compensation has been paid. As my hon. Friend will be aware, none was asked for by His Majesty's Government.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Does not my right hon. Friend think that this is an occasion when we ought to ask for some compensation for our Ambassador in respect of his injury and loss of health?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir. After careful consideration, His Majesty's Government thought it to be more consonant with the importance of the occasion to make the compensation themselves.

64. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty on whose instructions Admiral Little, Commander of the British China Station, congratulated General Matsui on the Japanese military success in the Shanghai area?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. Shakespeare)

Admiral Little has not congratulated General Matsui on the Japanese military successes in the Shanghai area, and, therefore the question does not arise.

Mr. Strauss

Is the Minister aware that this information was given out by the official Japanese Press Agency, both by telegram and radio, and will he therefore take proper steps to deny this both to the Japanese and the Chinese Government?

Mr. Shakespeare

I think this question and answer will serve that purpose.

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