HC Deb 08 June 1939 vol 348 cc632-3W
Mr. R. Morgan

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the British announcement at the last meeting of the Council of the League of Nations at Geneva affirming inability to assist China further, he can state exactly what effect His Majesty's Government has given to the various resolutions of the League urging sympathetic measures of help to the Nanking Government?

Mr. Butler

I think that my hon. Friend is under some misapprehension. I am therefore sending him an extract from the minutes of the meeting of the Council at which my Noble Friend made it clear that His Majesty's Government have not departed from the policy prescribed for members of the League in previous resolutions, and mentioned the lines on which they have taken action in recognition of their obligations under those resolutions.

Lieut-Commander Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister what action is being taken with the Japanese Government relative to the arrest of Lieut.-Colonel C. R. Spear?

Mr. Butler

The matter has been taken up urgently with the appropriate Japanese authorities with a view to securing the early release of Colonel Spear.

Mr. Banfield

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the statement of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at Geneva, the Government proposes to continue to give effect to the resolutions of the League of Nations in favour of the maximum of sympathetic aid to China?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir.

Sir A. Knox

asked the Prime Minister whether at the recent meeting at Shanghai of British, French and United States Ambassadors to China, accompanied by their respective naval officers commanding in Chinese waters, the question of restoring the freedom of transit on the Yangtze to the shipping of all nations was discussed; what conclusions were reached; and what action is being taken?

Mr. Butler

By a coincidence the French, United States and British Ambassadors and the naval commanders-in-chief of these three countries recently found themselves at Shanghai at the same time, and no doubt they took the opportunity of exchanging views on various matters of common concern. My Noble Friend knows of no formal meeting having taken place. Further representations on the subject of British trade in the Yangtse Delta were made to the Japanese Government by Sir R. Craigie on the 6th June.