HC Deb 16 March 1938 vol 333 cc381-2
1. Mr. Moreing

asked the Prime Minister whether he has any information as to the announcement by the Chinese Government of the imposition of restrictions on the purchasing of foreign exchange; whether the purchasing of foreign exchange is being limited to transactions in Hankow and Hong Kong; and what steps he is taking to prevent the resulting hindrance to British trade?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Butler)

I understand that the arrangement referred to relates to the sale by the Central Bank of China of the foreign exchange at its disposal. Such sales to banks in China will be effected by the Central Bank at Hankow, and, as a matter of convenience, applications will be received at Hong Kong and will be forwarded to Hankow. I am not at present prepared to say whether the arrangements made will cause any avoidable difficulties to British trade, but the position will be closely watched from this point of view.

Mr. Moreing

While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his reply, may I ask him whether he will specially inquire as to the position of holders in this country of the silver debentures and shares in the public utility companies which are operating in China in order that they may be able to get their dividends out of China with no restrictions?

Mr. Butler

I will look into the matter to which my hon. Friend refers.

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