HC Deb 03 February 1947 vol 432 cc1379-80
25. Mr. John Paton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the negotiations for a commercial treaty taking place between the British and Chinese Governments have now been concluded; and if he is in a position to make a statement on the subject.

Mr. Mayhew

No, Sir. A draft treaty was presented to the Chinese Government in June last year. The Chinese counter draft was received in this country very recently, and is now under consideration.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Will the Under-Secretary ensure that before this treaty is concluded a clause will be inserted stating that property should be returned to its British owners beforehand?

Mr. Mayhew

I have no doubt that this is being borne in mind by the negotiators.

Mr. Paton

Is the hon. Gentleman able to give any indication at all when this treaty is likely to be concluded?

Mr. Mayhew

I am afraid not. There has been some delay, largely, I think, in the initial stages because of the removal of the capital to Nanking.