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Formosa (Riots)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 30 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information about the riots and massacres in Formosa in March; what is the present situation in the island; and whether the allocation of Formosa to China is definitive or provisional.

As a result of local discontent over alleged misrule, serious rioting and bloodshed occurred in Formosa at the end of February and beginning of March. Order was restored following the despatch of Chinese Government troops to the island. A new Governor has been appointed and, a number of reforms effected. No further incidents have been reported since the end of March. As regards the last part of the question, it was agreed in the Cairo Declaration of December, 1943, that Formosa should be returned to China. It is the view of His Majesty's Government that formal transfer of territories formerly owned or annexed by Japan must await the eventual Peace Conference with Japan.

Will my hon. Friend say what was the estimated number of deaths in these massacres; does he not agree that a very unsatisfactory situation was revealed as taking place in Formosa; has he the matter under observation; and has he asked the Far Eastern Commission and the Inter-Allied Control Council to intervene to promote a balanced administration in the country?

On the first part of the supplementary question, some 800 For-mosans and Chinese are reported to have been killed in the suppression of the rioting, and a reliable observer has said that at least 250 mainland Chinese were killed in the rioting of 28th February last. On the second part of the Question, the Far Eastern Commission and the Control Council would not have any responsibility here, as Formosa has been under Chinese administration and remains so.

Do I understand from that reply that, whatever the responsibility for riots and massacres of this order, no steps should be taken by the Allies?

The formal transfer of this territory must await the Peace Conference with Japan.