HC Deb 08 November 1954 vol 532 c91W
21. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many British merchant ships have been intercepted, plundered, shelled, or strafed in the China Seas since September, 1949, to date by the warships of Chiang Kai-shek.

Sir Anthony Eden

I regret that information for the period from September, 1949, to August, 1951, is not immediately available. I will write to the hon. Member when I have the full details for this period. In reply to Questions on 16th February last year, I said that during the preceding 18 months Chinese Nationalist interference with British ships had taken place on 18 occasions.

Since the beginning of last year British ships have been interfered with by the Chinese Nationalists, including Nationalist irregulars, on 44 occasions. There have also been a number of other instances of interference with British ships when it has not been possible to identify who was responsible. In the majority of the incidents since February, 1953, the ships have been ordered to stop and subsequently allowed to proceed. Her Majesty's Government consider that these attempts to molest British ships are unlawful and Her Majesty's Consul at Tamsui has made appropriate protests to the provincial authorities in Formosa whenever it was evident that the Chinese Nationalists were responsible.