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China (Diplomatic Mission)

Volume 527: debated on Wednesday 19 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has ever received any reply to Her Majesty's Government's representations that this country and the People's Government of China should exchange diplomatic missions; and if he will state briefly the steps which Her Majesty's Government has taken to this end since according de facto recognition on 7th January, 1950.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) on 22nd February.

I am aware of that. Can I assume from that reply that it still remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government to try to exchange diplomatic missions with China, and that if the Chinese Government now makes a move in this matter and suggests sending a diplomatic mission to this country, it would be acceptable to Her Majesty's Government?

Our attitude has been made clear many times by actions as well as by words. It is clearly not for us to raise the matter. As to the second part of the question, I think we had better wait and see if it happens.

Surely the hon. Gentleman can go a good deal further than that? All I am asking him to say is that there is no change in the policy and that such a mission would be acceptable to the Government. Surely his brief will enable him to say that?

I think the hon. Gentleman will find that the policy is clearly stated in the reply of 22nd February.

In view of the fact that we recognised the present Government in China some years ago, and that Her Majesty's present Government have continued recognition, surely they would welcome reciprocity in the form of the arrival of a Chinese Ambassador in London?

Will the hon. Gentleman make it quite clear that this country has given full recognition to China and not merely de facto recognition?

If the right hon. Gentleman will look at the reply of my right hon. Friend of 22nd February, he will find that, as my right hon. Friend said, the situation is far from satisfactory as regards this country.

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.