HC Deb 28 March 1938 vol 333 cc1606-7
4. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether, in accordance with the resolution passed on 2nd February at the last meeting of the League Council, His Majesty's Government have examined, in consultation with other similarly interested Governments, the feasibility of any further steps which may contribute to a just settlement of the Sino-Japanese conflict?

The Prime Minister

The terms of the resolution to which the hon. Member refers are familiar to His Majesty's Government, who have, however, no indication that the present moment is opportune for any active steps in the direction indicated in the resolution. The situation will continue to be closely watched.

11. Mr. Moreing

asked the Prime Minister whether British merchants are being allowed by the Japanese military authorities to send their Chinese employés to move merchandise into and out of British-owned warehouses in the occupied area in the international settlement in Shanghai?

Mr. Butler

British subjects have for some time been able to deal with their property at British warehouses and I have no reason to suppose that they are now prevented from sending Chinese employés to handle it.

12. Mr. Moreing

asked the Prime Minister how far hostilities have now moved from Shanghai; and what steps His Majesty's Government are taking to secure the withdrawal of Japanese troops from the International Settlement and to assist the British community to restore the trade and industries of the port?

Mr. Butler

The main front has moved about 200 miles from Shanghai, but severe fighting between Chinese guerilla bands and Japanese troops has occurred within 60 miles of the city. His Majesty's Government are doing everything in their power to ensure a return to normal peacetime conditions.

Mr. Moreing

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Settlement police are perfectly able to maintain order throughout the whole of the International Settlement; and will he take steps to protect British trade and the trade of other countries, and see that the Japanese troops are removed from the Settlement?

Mr. Butler

As I said in the original answer, His Majesty's Government are doing their best to ensure the return to normal peace-time conditions.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House upon what grounds the Japanese justify the retention of troops in the Settlement?

Mr. Butler

The hon. Gentleman may not realise that they have the same rights as other countries as regards stationing of troops in Shanghai.

Mr. Moreing

Does my hon. Friend really suggest that the Japanese occupation of Yangtse-pu and Hongkew is comparable to the position of the British, American and French in Shanghai? The cases are entirely different.

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