HC Deb 30 January 1956 vol 548 cc601-3
34. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give an assurance that Her Majesty's Government are still prepared to carry out the terms of the Cairo Declaration of 1st December, 1943, and the Potsdam Declaration of 26th July, 1945, concerning the restoration to the Republic of China of Formosa and the Pescadores.

Mr. Nutting

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) said on 1st February, 1955, the Cairo Declaration of 1943 contained merely a statement of common purpose. The problem of Formosa has since become an international problem in which a number of other nations are closely concerned.

The question of future sovereignty over Formosa was left undetermined by the Japanese Peace Treaty. The Potsdam Declaration of 1945 laid down as conditions for the Japanese that they should carry out the terms of the Cairo Declaration. Japan complied with this by formally renouncing all title to Formosa in the Japanese Peace Treaty.

Mr. Zilliacus

Did not the Cairo Declaration specifically state that Formosa was Chinese territory on the same footing as was Manchuria, and that we were pledged to restore it to the Republic of China in the same way as we were pledged to restore Manchuria? Does this reply mean that the right hon. Gentleman stands by the view which he expressed in New York in December, 1954, to the effect that we were bound to fight on the side of Chiang Kai-shek for Formosa if he became involved in war' with Communist China?

Mr. Nutting

I hate to tell the hon. Gentleman, but he is wrong on both counts. In the first place, I never said that we would be bound to fight on the side of Chiang Kai-shek. I said that we would support the United Nations, as we are pledged to do. Referring to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I may say that the Cairo Declaration spoke of Formosa having been seized by Japan and that Japan should hand it back. Under the Japanese Peace Treaty Japan has renounced all sovereignty and title to Formosa, but the question of sovereignty remains in abeyance.

Mr. Brooman-White

Might not a helpful start be made with retrospective thinking if the Soviet Government would use their influence to have the armaments provisions of the peace treaties with the satellite nations of Europe implemented, whereas at present they are being grossly violated?

Mr. Nutting

That is a wider question, but that does not mean that I do not agree with it.