HC Deb 23 April 1952 vol 499 cc401-2
40. Mr. Driberg

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why a Royal Naval liaison officer is stationed in Formosa; and what duties are performed by this officer and his staff.

The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty (Commander Allan Noble)

A Royal naval liaison officer is attached to Her Majesty's Consulate in Tamsui, to advise Her Majesty's Consul on maritime matters.

Mr. Driberg

Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say why there is a curious atmosphere of secrecy surrounding this appointment, as described in a recent book by a reputable journalist who is well-known to hon. Members of this House? Will he also give an assurance that the Royal Navy and its liaison officers in Formosa will not become entangled in any of the Nationalists' aggressive conspiracies against the Chinese people?

Commander Noble

I have not read the book to which the hon. Member has referred, but I think he will agree that there has been a number of incidents involving shipping in these waters, and that it is a considerable advantage to the Consul to have the advice of a naval officer.