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China (British Representation)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 15 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking to augment the present insufficient British representation, both official and unofficial, in Shanghai and other important re-occupied Chinese centers; and whether financial arrangements, adequate to ensure the maintenance of British organisations in liberated China, are being made.

A representative of His Majesty's Embassy has been for some lime in Shanghai where His Majesty's Consulate-General has now been reopened. A number of representatives of British firms have also arrived there. Arrangements are now being made for a further party of British business men to proceed to China, and it is hoped to reopen His Majesty's Consulates-General at Tientsin and other liberated cities at an early date. The answer to the second part of the Question is that the matter is under urgent consideration.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that 20 business men who are to be permitted to go to China will be insufficient in number to get export trade going between the two countries, and to safeguard British interests in that country?

The hon. Gentleman is doubtless aware that there are many complications, but I can assure him that the Government are most anxious about this subject.

Will the hon. Gentleman assure the House that no facilities are being given to American business men which are being denied to British business men?