HC Deb 04 May 1970 vol 801 c17
9. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has now had a reply from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Note sent by the British Mission in Peking on 3rd April inquiring about the whereabouts in China of Mr. Francis James, the Australian publisher.

Mr. George Thomson

At the request of the Government of Australia our Mission in Peking sent a further Note to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on 24th April asking for any information the Chinese Government may have on Mr. James' whereabouts. We have still received no reply to our approaches.

Mrs. Short

I am much obliged to my right hon. Friend for the efforts that he has been making on behalf of the Australian Government at their request. Is he aware that there is widespread concern in Australia about the whereabouts of this well-known journalist, who disappeared in China as long ago as last November? Will he renew his efforts to try to get a sensible reply from the Chinese Government so that these widespread fears can be allayed?

Mr. Thomson

Yes. If we continue to receive no reply to our representations, we shall, naturally, discuss with the Australian Government what further steps might be taken.