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Anglo-Chinese Commercial Treaty (Negotiations)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 12 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, if the negotiations for a commercial treaty between the British and Chinese Governments have now been completed and if he will make a statement on the subject.

I regret that the negotiations are not yet completed, partly because of the necessity for reconciling the British and Chinese draft treaties, and partly because many Departments of His Majesty's Government are concerned with the proposed treaty and all of them have had to be afforded an opportunity for studying and commenting upon the Chinese draft.

Is the Minister aware that these negotiations have been going on since December and we are now in the middle of May? In view of the urgency, will he see that there is no avoidable delay on our side?

I can assure my hon. Friend that I am aware of the comparative urgency of this matter, but I hope that he will appreciate that almost every Government Department has been affected by the proposals.