HC Deb 23 June 1939 vol 348 cc2610-1
1. Mr. Vyvyan Adams

asked the Prime Minister whether he has any statement to make with regard to the plight of our nationals in Tientsin?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

Arrangements are being examined for remedying the deficiency of perishable foodstuffs in the Concessions, where only 10 per cent. of the normal daily supplies are now arriving. Ample stocks of non-perishable commodities such as flour and rice are in hand. Hon. Members will no doubt have seen reports of further indignities to which British nationals have been subjected. My Noble Friend has requested the Japanese Ambassador to see him in connection with those incidents to-day.

Mr. Adams

May I thank the Prime Minister for the courtesy of his answer and ask him whether he will inform Tokyo that these indignities to which our nationals are being subjected may have the most serious consequences on Japanese nationals in various British territories throughout the world?

The Prime Minister

I have no doubt that my Noble Friend will make very clear to the Japanese Ambassador, when he sees him, what we think of these intolerable insults.

Mr. Arthur Henderson

Can the Prime Minister give the House any information about Swatow, following the ultimatum of the Japanese authorities?

The Prime Minister

I have no official information before me this morning, but from the reports I see in the Press, the Japanese seem to have somewhat withdrawn from that view.

Mr. Pilkington

In view of this deplorable situation, will the Prime Minister consider putting into effect immediately, retaliatory measures?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir; I do not think we have got to that stage yet.

Mr. Watkins

Can the Prime Minister state the total number of our nationals who are at present in residence in Tientsin?

The Prime Minister

Not without notice.

Captain Heilgers

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the temper of the British people is rising and that they will be entirely behind him when he refers to intolerable indignities?