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Imported Arms

Volume 235: debated on Wednesday 26 February 1930

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can state the yearly figure shown by the latest Chinese Maritime Customs returns of arms and munitions imported through the Customs at the Chinese treaty ports; and can he state from which countries these arms were shipped?

The most recent returns of the Chinese Maritime Customs show that the importation of arms and munitions of war through them in 1928 amounted to a total net value equivalent, at the average rate of exchange, to, roughly, £1,750,000. These figures do not include imports for sporting purposes or for individual self-defence. With my hon. Friend's permission, I will have the detailed particulars circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Have any recent protests been made by the British representatives in China with reference to the importation of arms?

How does the right hon. Gentleman separate arms for individuals for self-defence and arms that are to be used against other people?

I am afraid I can only give the answer that has been provided for me.

Following are the detailed particulars:

Note.—The following figures include arms imported for British and other foreign naval and military forces in China as well as for such institutions as the Chinese Maritime Customs and the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. The various countries named are those from which the arms are shipped, and are not necessarily those of origin.

STATEMENT showing the value of direct gross imports through the Maritime Customs of arms and munitions into China during the year 1928, distinguishing the countries whence imported.

(Extracted from the Statistical Returns, Part II, Vol. 1, Imports—published by the Chinese Maritime Customs.)


Arms and munitions of war:
Haikwan Taels.
Total imports of which from:11,400,315
French Indo-China34,301
British India45
Great Britain34,577
Japan (including Formosa)393,005
Philippine Islands1,763
United States (including Hawaii)49,216

Arms and munitions, sporting and self-defence.Haikwan Taels.
Total imports of which from:125,671
French Indo-China1,869
British India462
Great Britain23,105
Japan (including Formosa)35,089
Philippine Islands160
United States (including Hawaii)13,643
NOTE.—The equivalent of the Haikwan Tael during the year 1928 was 2s. 11 1/16d.