HC Deb 21 February 1940 vol 357 cc1315-6
1. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he has any statement to make on the recent arrest of three British citizens at Kobe, Japan?

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

My Noble Friend has received a report to the effect that the Rev. F. E. Watts, an Australian in charge of the Kobe branch of the Missions to Seamen, Mr. H. J. Griffiths of the firm of J. L. Thompson and Company, and a Mr. V. O. Peters, have been detained by the Japanese police at Kobe since 17th January. The precise nature of the charges against them has not yet been officially specified. His Majesty's Consul-General at Kobe has visited the Rev. F. E. Watts and Mr. Griffiths on two occasions, and reports that they are in reasonably good health. It has not yet been possible for him to visit Mr. Peters. My Noble Friend is in continual communication with His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo on developments in these cases.