HC Deb 24 March 1927 vol 204 cc599-600W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the fact that Hankow mobs have, by threats of murder, compelled the British-owned paper, the "Central China Post," to shut down; whether he will instruct the British diplomatic representative on the spot to investigate the facts and press for proper protection both for the staff and the paper; whether the new municipality now functioning has any police force to assist in maintaining order; and, if not, whether there is any British force on the spot to assist British subjects in emergencies?


I have received a report from Hankow that the "Central China Post," and also an American-owned paper (the "Hankow Herald"), have been compelled to close down owing to the whole of their staff having been forced to strike, and I have no doubt that His Majesty's representatives there will make every proper endeavour to secure protection for this interest. I have no definite information as to the nature of the police arrangements now in force, but the various reports received from Mr. O'Malley indicate that the police are to be under the control of the new municipality. This is also provided for in the regulations for the ex-Russian Concession where, I understand, the offices of the "Central China Post" are situated. There are at present five warships at Hankow, including the flagship of the Rear-Admiral.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Kuomintang has supp[...]essed the British-owned paper, the "Central China Post," at Hankow, by threatening all foremen with murder if they did not call out the staffs; and what steps will be taken to protect British interests in the Settlement?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to-day to my hon. Friend the Member for South-East Essex (Mr. Looker).