HC Deb 26 January 1955 vol 536 c32W
72. Mr. H. Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what report he has received about the bombing by Chinese Nationalist aircraft of a British ship, the "Edendale"; what action he is taking in the matter; and, in particular, what claim he has submitted for compensation in respect of the damage involved.

Mr. Turton

Reports received from the British naval authorities in Hong Kong state that the "Edendale," a ship of some 1,700 tons, registered in Hong Kong, was attacked on the afternoon of 19th January during a bombing raid on Swatow harbour by Chinese Nationalist aircraft. The ship, which was prominently marked with the British flag, was hit near the engine room and sank before she could be beached. The master has reported that all the crew are safe. Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Peking was at once instructed to ask the Chinese Government to afford all necessary facilities for the crew to return to Hong Kong and any other assistance which might be required. The Chinese Government have since replied that the Swatow authorities are looking after the crew and helping them to return to Hong Kong as soon as possible.

As soon as Her Majesty's Consul in Formosa was informed of the attack on the "Edendale" he made an oral protest to the Provincial Authorities there. He followed this up on 22nd January by a written note protesting on behalf of Her Majesty's Government against this wanton and unprovoked attack against an innocent British merchant ship. His note reserved the right to claim full and prompt compensation for the loss caused.

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