§ Mr. RANKIN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by what date it is anticipated the final arrangements will be completed for the housing of the British Embassy to China at Nanking?
§ Mr. EDEN
My hon. Friend is no doubt aware that arrangements already exist for the accommodation of the Ambassador and one secretary at Nanking and that the Ambassador resides at that capital for considerable periods during each year. In his absence at Peking it is usual for the counsellor of the Embassy to reside at Nanking. I am unable to state when it will be possible to move the whole staff of the Embassy to Nanking as this must depend upon the construction of the necessary premises. Up to the present the site for these premises has not been definitely acquired, though, as was stated in reply to a question on 29th June, His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires is negotiating with the Chinese Government for a suitable site. I should like to make it clear that the abandonment of the present Embassy at Peking is not contemplated. There are important British interests in North China which render its retention desirable.