HC Deb 13 March 1940 vol 358 cc1159-60
2. Mr. Hannah

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that a regular tariff is levied by Japanese army officials on all Chinese entering the British Concession of Tientsin, resulting in a heavy tax on British merchandise; and whether he will represent to the Japanese Government that such extortion for the profit of subordinate officials is causing the Japanese Government to lose face among foreign nations?

Mr. Butler

My Noble Friend understands that reports are current to this effect. His Majesty's Government have frequently represented to the Japanese Government the injury caused to British interests by the restrictions on the movement of merchandise in this area.

10. Mr. Wilfrid Roberts

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the recent decision of the Export Import Bank of America to provide a loan of $20,000,000 to China; and whether, in view of the British obligations to help China, implied in resolutions of the League of Nations Assembly, steps are being taken to render similar assistance to China?

Mr. Butler

Negotiations on the subject referred to in the first part of the hon. Member's Question appear to be proceeding. His Majesty's Government are well aware of their obligations under the League of Nations resolutions to which the hon. Member refers, and they are carrying out those obligations to the best of their ability in the present difficult circumstances.

Mr. Roberts

Is it not a fact that the £3,000,000 granted as export credit last summer has not yet been made fully available, and are there not other means by which assistance could be granted to China?

Mr. Butler

The importance of helping China is realised, and I do not think there is any doubt about the availability of the £3,000,000 credit.