§ Sir R. THOMAS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the present military situation in China; and is there reason for apprehension regarding the safety of British subjects in any district?
Since my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon on the 24th of April there has been an appreciable improvement in the situation in the Middle Yangtze Valley, which is now entirely under the control of the National Government. Three of the defeated Kwangsi generals expressed their willingness to leave Hupeh if they were given a safe conduct under the British flag; Marshal Chiang Kai-shek formally requested that this should be2358W done in order to hasten the termination of hostilities, and they have accordingly been conveyed to Shanghai in a British warship.
In Shantung Chang Tsung-chang has been definitely beaten and has left the province. Marshal Feng Yü-hsiang's forces have been withdrawn from Shantung into Honan, and the control of the former province has been given to a Nanking general. Nanking troops are being transferred from the Tientsin area to North Honan; Shansi troops are being withdrawn to their own province from Peking and sent to reinforce the Shansi-Honan border. The relations between Feng Yü-hsiang and Chiang Kai-shek are obscure. All of Marshal Feng's adherents have left Nanking, where his quarters have been occupied by local troops.
On the 4th of May Kwangsi troops advanced into Kwangtung; the local authorities of Canton have sent gunboats to check the invasion.
The reports that I have received do not indicate anxiety regarding the safety of British subjects. Except for one missionary who elected to remain, all British subjects have been safely evacuated from Changten.