HC Deb 29 June 1955 vol 543 cc396-7
43. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the interception of British ships by Chinese Nationalist warships on 21st June.

Mr. Turton

The British ships "Inchjura" and "Helikon" were intercepted south-west of White Dog Island by a Chinese Nationalist warship in the early hours of 21st June and warned not to enter Foochow. The "Inchjura" proceeded out to sea. The "Helikon" tried again the next day to enter Foochow.

On this occasion she was fired upon by a Nationalist warship and escorted to White Dog Island; she was released after some seven hours, having sustained no damage or injury to her crew. Both ships entered Foochow without further incident on 23rd June. Her Majesty's Consul at Tamsue has protested to the provincial authorities in Formosa over these incidents.

Mr. Henderson

Does the form of the protest indicate to the authorities in Formosa that Her Majesty's Government intend to ensure that all British ships on their lawful occasions will be protected when they are carrying out trade with ports in Communist China?

Mr. Turton

That is so. Her Majesty's ships in the Far East have instructions to afford protection to British ships on their lawful occasions on the high seas.

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