HC Deb 22 February 1954 vol 524 cc17-9
37. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the recognition of the Peking Government of China by Her Majesty's Government, what further representations have been made to secure reciprocal recognition by the Chinese Government; by what means Her Majesty's Government makes any form of diplomatic contact with that Government; and how British business transactions and the promotion of trade with China are safeguarded.

Mr. Eden

The hon. Member will recall that after the late Government's act of recognition in January, 1950, there was an exchange of notes between Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires and the Chinese People's Government regarding certain conditions attached by the Chinese to the establishment of normal diplomatic relations. Her Majesty's Charge d'Affaires' last note was dated 17th June, 1950, and there the matter has rested.

As regards the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, the situation is far from satisfactory. Her Majesty's Charge d'Affaires is only accorded a limited degree of recognition by the Chinese Government. He addresses them frequently on behalf of British interests, including business and trade, their treatment of which is most unsatisfactory. But I regret to say that neither he nor his staff are able to discuss matters with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Sorensen

Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he himself has taken any action with a view to securing consideration of this matter by the present Peking Government, particularly in view of the anomaly of our recognition of China without their recognition of us, and the effect this has in some measure on international trade between this country and China?

Mr. Eden

I comment upon it frequently to the Chinese Government and in public, and I regard this position as in every way unjust and unsatisfactory so far as British interests are concerned. If the Chinese Government want to improve relations with us, the best thing they can do is to treat our interests in China with ordinary courtesy and justice.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Will the Foreign Secretary take the opportunity which the Geneva Conference will afford of discussing this matter with the Chinese representatives there?

Mr. Eden

I would rather wait until a little nearer the time.