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Shanghai (British Assets)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he has received as to the forcible acquisition or destruction of British assets in Shanghai; and what action he has taken to safeguard them.

I am glad to say that reports so far received, whch are of course necessarily preliminary, do not indicate that any British assets have been forcibly acquired or seriously damaged by either side. As regards the second part of the Question, His Majesty's Consul-General has been in contact with both sides with a view to safeguarding British lives and property.

Is the Minister of State aware that the Consul-General is reported as having said that certain of our ships were seized at Shanghai, and can he say whether that, in view of his answer, was an incorrect report?

I have seen a Press statement, but on the official information available to us as late as last night, my statement covers the situation.

Is it not the case that forcible possession was taken of British property by the Kuomintang forces and that the British people resident there welcomed the liberating forces who cleared up the Kuomintang forces? Is not that the case?

I saw a report to which no doubt the hon. Gentleman is referring. I find it in conflict with the official information available to us from the Consul-General.

Will the right hon. Gentleman express the thanks of all concerned to the British Consul-General for the way in which he has carried out his duties in Shanghai?