HC Deb 08 October 1924 vol 177 cc565-6W
Sir W. de FRECE

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government is in possession of information showing that within the last three years any arms and munitions have been exported from this country to China to consignees other than the Chinese Government; and what steps are being taken to control the existing traffic in the illicit sale of armaments to China?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the second part, the principal Governments having interests in China entered into an agreement in 1919 known as the China Arms Embargo Agreement, by which they undertook to restrain their nationals from exporting to or importing into China arms and munitions of war. In pursuance of this agreement the import of arms and munitions into China on the part of British subjects is prohibited by King's Regulations.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps are being taken to protect British interests generally in China and at Shanghai in particular?


Every possible protection is afforded to British lives and property by the defence schemes, based on naval co-operation, which exist in ports where there is any considerable number of foreign residents. Should it appear desirable, residents in the interior will be warned by the Consular officers to withdraw to the ports. The safety of the International Settlement at Shanghai has been provided for by the landing of an international naval force, which will be assisted by the local volunteers and police force. Representations are being made to the various Chinese military leaders against damage to British interests outside the Treaty ports.