§ 13. Mr. A. Henderson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is the view of Her Majesty's Government that the provisions of the Nine Power Treaty are still operative.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
This is a complicated legal matter on which, I regret, I cannot yet give a full answer. As far as Her Majesty's Government are concerned, however, they still adhere to the principles of the Treaty in so far as they are applicable to present conditions.
§ Mr. Henderson
Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman give an assurance that the existence of this Treaty will not be allowed to prejudice the utmost development of trade by direct agreement with Chinese Government agencies? Has a reply been received from the Chinese Government with regard to the trade offers that emanated from the Moscow Conference?
§ Mr. Lloyd
As far as the second part of the supplementary question is concerned, the answer is "No." With regard to the first part, my impression is in accordance with the suggestion of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but I would prefer to examine the matter 932 further. I propose to send the right hon. and learned Gentleman a letter, explaining rather more fully the present legal position.
§ Mr. Henderson
I was not so much concerned with the difficulties from the Chinese end; but there are other signatories to this Treaty, and I was asking whether, in view of the fact that other nations were signatories to that Treaty, the right hon. and learned Gentleman will now allow the British to develop trade with the Chinese Government?
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
Could the right hon. and learned Gentleman say what is this Nine Power Treaty and which are the nine Powers?