HC Deb 15 June 1964 vol 696 c908
6. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to which authority the British Consul-General in Taiwan is accredited.

Mr. Mathew

Our senior consular officer in Taiwan holds the rank of Consul. As he does not have diplomatic status, no question of accreditation arises. His relations are only with the local provincial authorities, and he has no contact with the Central Nationalist authorities.

Mr. Warbey

I thank the Under-Secretary for that reply and correction. Will he make quite clear, not only to the House but also to the Chinese People's Republic and Government in Peking, that this country in no way recognises the Government of Chiang Kai-shek and that our Consul is there purely to promote commercial contacts? If he will do this, will it not assist the establishment of relations between Britain and China on the proper ambassadorial basis that they ought to have?

Mr. Mathew

Yes. I think I have made this position very plain by my original Answer.

Sir W. Teeling

Does not my hon. Friend think that, since a tremendous increase in trade is taking place between this country and Taiwan, it would be a very good idea if we could have somebody over here in the equivalent rank, whatever it may be, to our Consul in Taiwan?

Mr. Mathew

As we do not recognise any of the authorities in Taiwan as constituting a Government, Her Majesty's Government do not consider that it would be appropriate to accept consular officers appointed by those authorities.