HC Deb 25 July 1929 vol 230 cc1519-20W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the attitude of His Majesty's Government towards the acquisition by the Soviet Government of control of till Chinese Eastern Railway in defiance of the Washington Nine-Power Agreement of 1922?


By the Agreement of 1896 for the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway, the Chinese Government vested its control in the Russian company. After the revolution in Russia, control of the line was, in 1919, assumed by an Inter-Allied Board. The Washington Conference's technical sub-committee on the Chinese Eastern Railway reported on 23rd January, 1922, that the status of the railway was deter- mined by the 1896 contract; that the railway was in effect the property of the Russian Government; and that it was held in trust pending the general recognition of a Russian Government. These principles were the basis of the Washington Conference Resolution of 23rd January, 1922, with which, the Nine-Power Treaty must be read in this connection. In 1924 China signed agreements with the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics providing, inter alia, for joint Sino-Russian administration of the Chinese Eastern Railway. The Chinese Government have now evicted the Russian personnel; the point at issue is therefore not the acquisition by the Soviet Government of control of the line, but the interference by the Chinese Government with its share of control as provided for in the treaties.