HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 cc1255-6
2. Mr. Hannah

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the free use of Canton is still not permitted to British shipping and that repeated attempts since the spring of 1939 to re-open the waterway have been frustrated by Janaese obstruction on various pretexts; that British ships can only be run at a loss owing to the high pilotage tariff fixed by the Japanese; and whether he will discuss with the Board of Trade the possibility of imposing retaliatory measures on Japanese shipping in British ports?

Mr. Butler

The shipping situation at Canton is governed by an agreement with the Japanese which permits weekly visits by British ships subject to certain conditions. Various offers for the re-opening of the river by stages have been made by the Japanese, but the conditions attached to them have rendered them valueless to the British interests concerned. Negotiations have been in progress for some time but without result, and representations have been made to the Japanese Government. His Majesty's Government have under constant review such measures as it may be possible to take to remedy the existing situation, and a report on the latest position has been called for.

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