HC Deb 17 January 1940 vol 356 cc103-4
1. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister whether he has any statement to make with reference to the position in the Far East?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

Military operations have latterly been in progress in South China, and Nanning, an important centre of communication in Kwangsi province, was captured by the Japanese forces on 24th November. Air raids carried out by the Japanese have damaged the railway to Yunnanfu, traffic on which is now in consequence suspended.

On 18th December the Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs informed His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo that it had been decided to lift the existing ban on navigation on the Yangtze from Nanking downwards subject to certain restrictions necessary for the maintenance of peace and order, and military operations; it was hoped to apply similar measures to the Pearl River. His Majesty's Government welcome this decision as a step towards the restoration of equal trading opportunities for all in the Yangtze basin.

As regards the situation in Tientsin there are no new developments to record.

Mr. Mander

Is the Government in any way committed to support the proposed new Chinese Government under the auspices of Mr. Wang?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.