HC Deb 15 June 1936 vol 313 c646W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any British or Indian troops or British warships have been, or are to be, moved from the Hong Kong area to Shanghai; what instructions in this connection have been issued by His Majesty's Government; what decisions have been made by the British authorities in China; and whether, in the event of hostilities breaking out between China and Japan, entry into the international settlement at Shanghai will be denied to all belligerent forces, or only to the Chinese, as on a previous occasion?


As my Noble Friend stated on 11th June in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for the City of Chester (Sir C. Cayzer) and the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones), routine measures for the protection both by land and sea in a possible emergency of the centres of British interest in the area involved in the present disturbed situation have been taken. These measures consist in the holding in readiness at Hong Kong of a battalion for the possible reinforcement of the British garrison at Shanghai, and in the formulation of plans for the despatch in an emergency of units of the China Fleet to ports affected. As regards the last part, this question is hypothetical and I cannot forecast events; but I can assure the hon. Member that every effort would be made to keep the international settlement free of all hostilities.