HC Deb 09 July 1941 vol 373 cc146-7
5. Sir A. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps are contemplated to secure adequate supplies of rice for the poor classes in the Inter national. Settlement, at prices within their reach; and whether he will represent to the Japanese Government that their policy of buying-up and exporting to Japan all visible supplies of rice, is depriving the working classes in Shanghai of their only means of subsistence?

Mr. Eden

While this is primarily a matter for the Shanghai Municipal Council to take up with the Japanese authorities direct, I have asked for a report on the present position.

Sir A. Knox

Does my right hon. Friend realise that the price has gone up in this district by 700 per cent., and that rice is a necessary commodity to the Chinese?,

Mr. Eden

Yes, I know that the position is a serious one.

6. Sir John Wardlaw-Milne

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps have been taken to secure an adequate supply of coal for the power station in Shanghai, upon which the industries of the International Settlement depend, in view of the danger to British interests should coal supplies be insufficient?

Mr. Eden

There has been some shortage of shipping in Far Eastern waters, which has led to difficulties being experienced by the Shanghai Power Company in maintaining stocks of coal. I understand, however, that the Company has succeeded in chartering a number of neutral vessels and that negotiations are now proceeding in respect of others.

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