HC Deb 29 March 1950 vol 473 cc391-2
43. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what benefits have accrued to date to British interests in the Far East as a result of the recognition of the Communist Government of China.

Mr. Younger

His Majesty's Government's decision to recognise the Central People's Government was based on the facts of the situation in China which were such as to require recognition according to the standards of international law and practice and not on a calculation of immediate benefits. British interests have continued to encounter difficulties of various kinds since recognition was accorded. These have been in part due to the Nationalist blockade and in part to conditions prevailing in China.

Mr. Gammans

But has His Majesty's Government balanced these problematical benefits against the undoubted dislike of the action by Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the encouragement given to Malayan bandits and the danger of having Chinese Communist consuls in the consulates in Malaya?

Mr. Younger

We have tried to balance all these considerations. As the hon. Member knows, there is a division of opinion between different nations about this question of recognition. As regards the encouragement which may have been given in Malaya, it is, of course, true that there has been increased bandit activity and in so far as that might have been affected by events in China it would be much more likely to be due to the success of Communist armies in China than to the effect of recognition.

Mr. Nutting

Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House what is the present position regarding the exchange of diplomatic representatives between China and this country?

Mr. Younger

Negotiations are still going on, and if the hon. Member wants an immediate up-to-date answer, perhaps he will put down a Question.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the means of communication now open are being used to stop the extortions of penal monthly fines on European businesses still established in China, as that should be the first practical step resulting from the policy of His Majesty's Government?

Mr. Younger

That is a different question. Our representative is, of course, doing what he can.