HC Deb 28 November 1927 vol 211 c61W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the case of Mrs. Marion Smith, widow of the late Dr. L. Satchwell Smith, who was murdered by Chinese Nationalist soldiers at the taking of Nanking on 24th March, 1927; whether he is aware that Mrs. Smith has been offered the small sum of £1,000 by the Nationalist Government as compensation; and whether he will make representations to the Nationalist Government about her case?


The case of Mrs. Smith is one with which my right hon. Friend feels great sympathy and which he is following with close attention.

On the 24th August last His Majesty's Consul-General at Nanking reported that he had received from the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs a cheque for $110,000 (about £1,000) payable to Mrs. Smith. The cheque was accompanied by a letter stating that the Nationalist authorities "considering the circumstances of Dr. Smith's widow had decided to make her a compassionate allowance" of this amount, and expressing their regret and sympathy.

Mrs. Smith

was reluctant to accept this cheque unless it was made clear that it was in no way in prejudice of her claim to full compensation. The decision as to the answer to be given to the Nationalist authorities was left in her Hands, in consultation with her lawyers, and I have not yet been informed whether she has accepted the cheque or not. In the letter handed to the Chinese authorities at Hankow and Shanghai on the 11th April last it was stated that His Majesty's Government required "complete reparation for personal injuries and material damage done." It is our intention to persist in this demand.

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