HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2035-6
2. Sir John Wardlaw-Milne

asked the Prime Minister whether his intention has been drawn to the announcement of the Japanese official spokesman that the districts of Yangtzepoo and Hongkew in the Shanghai International Settlement will be restored to the Shanghai Municipal Council when the dispute as to the control of the outside roads area has been disposed of; what is the position as regards these two questions, and whether the Japanese have yet taken any steps to put an end to the lawless and dangerous conditions prevailing in the areas under their control adjoining the foreign settlements of Shanghai?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. My attention has been drawn to the Press reports in question. A modus vivendifor the policing of the western outside roads area at Shanghai was signed on 16th February by the Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council and the Mayor of the Chinese City Government. The Japanese Consul-General then issued a communiqué that the Japanese authorities were ready to resume negotiations with the Council regarding the policing of the Hongkew and other areas north of the Soochow Creek. Conversations are in fact to be resumed between the two parties and it is hoped that these negotiations will lead to a settlement of other questions at issue concerning the Council's jurisdiction in those areas. The latest reports indicate that the crime situation is still very bad in the western extra-Settlement district, but the Japanese authorities have expressed their intention of doing away with a number of the gambling houses and dens of vice to which the disorderly conditions in this district have been chiefly due.

Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne

Will my right hon. Friend express the appreciation of this country at Japan's contemplated action and press them, if possible, to get on with the work of establishing order in the country?

Mr. Butler

Certainly, I will see that that expression of appreciation is passed forward and that the work the hon. Member desires is pressed on.