§ Colonel DAY
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the present position in China?
The course of civil war between Marshal Chang Tsolin and the Governor of Shansi has continued to be favourable to the former, who now holds the whole length of the Peking-Suiyuan Railway as well as Northern Shansi as far as the inner branch of the Great Wall. Along the Lunghai Railway success has alternated between General Feng Yu-hsiang and the Chihli-Shantung forces. At present the latter are retiring and General Feng is threatening the Shantung frontier. There are also indications of a possible Kuomintang attack on General Sun Ch'uanfang. The Nanking punitive expedition succeeded in capturing Hankow. General Tang Sheng-chih fled by steamer on the 13th November; his troops evacuated the city on the 15th November, and the Nanking forces arrived on the 16th November. The transfer of authority created a critical situation, but no great disorder occurred; there was practically no looting and only a few incendiary fires caused by the retreating troops. Since their occupation of Hankow, there has been considerable friction between two rival leaders of the Nanking forces, General Li-Chung-jen and General Cheng Chien. The latter General was in March of this year in command of the troops responsible for the Nanking outrages. The latest reports indicate that, in spite of the efforts of the Nanking authorities to effect a reconciliation, the breach has widened; on the 5th December General Cheng's adherents attacked the headquarters of the special committee appointed by Nanking and ousted their opponents. General Li-Chung-jen has left for Nanking or Shanghai. There has been some recrudescence recently of Communist activities at Hankow and also at Shanghai.
Canton has also experienced a change of regime; General Li-Chai-sum and Wang Ching-wei left Canton on the 15th November, nominally to attend a Kuomintang conference at Shanghai. 1400W Since their departure General Chang Fa-kuei has ousted his other rivals: the Nanking administration has issued a punitive mandate against him and the latest report shows him to be working in combination with the remnants of General Tang Sheng-chin's forces in Hunan. As a result of the representations of His Majesty's Consul-General at Canton, the boycott threatened there failed to materialise; on the 10th November the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs stated to the Consul-General that he had been instructed by the local authorities to inform him that the boycott would be suppressed and any goods that had been seized would be returned.
§ Colonel DAY
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received a report on the incident in which a Nationalist gunboat firing on the forces of General Ho Chien at Chengling, Yochow, hit a British merchantman; if he can state the extent of the damage to the merchantman; whether there were any casualties; whether the protest made by the local British naval commander to the Nanking generals has been replied to; and can he give particulars of the protest?
I have received reports of numerous instances of British steamers being fired on at Chengling, but none of these corresponds to the incident in question, regarding which I have no information.