§ 41. Mr. Emrys Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will instruct our diplomatic representatives at Hong Kong to broadcast a statement declaring that we wish to pursue a friendly policy towards the Chinese people, to trade with them and to co-operate with them in measures likely to raise their standard of life.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ernest Bevin)
The position of His Majesty's Government in these respects was made clear in my speech in the House on 9th December, 1948, and in the reply given on 25th January by my hon. Friend the Secretary for Overseas Trade in answer to a question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford (Mr. Austin). I do not doubt that note has been taken of these statements and I therefore see no reason for broadcasting a further declaration from Hong Kong.
§ Mr. Hughes
Has not the situation very much changed since then? Will the Foreign Secretary realise that we need to establish friendly relations with the Chinese Communists and not make the mistakes we made in Russia over the Russian Communists?
§ Mr. M. Lindsay
In view of the fact that only one Chinese in 500 has a receiving set, what is the point of the hon. Member's Question?
§ Mr. Austin
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the Chinese people cannot read the reply which he gave me and which is printed in HANSARD? Will he also bear in mind that the best defence for our Nationals in Hong Kong and our national interests in China, is the maintenance of good relations with the Chinese, whether they are Communists or not?
§ Mr. Gammans
May I ask what diplomatic representatives the Foreign Office has in that British Colony and why the Foreign Secretary is answering this Question?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore
In any case, is it not a fact that since the Corfu and the Yangtse disasters, we have no more cheeks to turn?