asked the Prime Minister what is the position in connection with the responsibility of the Japanese Government for damage caused to British property in China owing to their military operations; whether the Japanese Government have accepted the principle of responsibility for compensation; and whether machinery is being set up to assess and liquidate claims so made?
The position is that the Japanese Government have not formally and specifically acknowledged responsibility for damage caused to British property in China owing to their military operations, and it has consequently not so far been possible to set up any machinery for the assessment and liquidation of claims.
No British subjects have been evacuated from Amoy or Kulangsu Islands by British warships. The number of British subjects residing in this district in July, 1937, was 232.
asked the Prime Minister what reply has been received to the protests made on 31st December, 1937, 31st March, 5th April, 6th April, and nth April, 1938, to the Japanese authorities in connection with recent cases of assault by Japanese against British subjects in the International Settlement at Shanghai?
I understand that Mr. Wilkinson was arrested by a Japanese military patrol in the Hungjao area outside the defence perimeter of Shanghai about 7 a.m. on 13th May, and that after he had informed the Japanese that he was a British subject he was struck by them and wounded in the back with a bayonet. He was not sent to military headquarters until 4 p.m., where he was interrogated before being released with apologies on behalf of the patrol. On hearing the news of Mr. Wilkinson's arrest, the matter was at once taken up by the British authorities at Shanghai, who have protested strongly to the Japanese against this illegal detention of a British subject and also against the whole circumstances of the case. His Majesty's Ambasador in Tokyo has also been instructed to take up this matter with the Japanese Government.
Is it not the case that Mr. Wilkinson's record in Japan shows that he is a man who is incapable of having given any offence or of having been engaged in any activities in connection with the Japanese; and will His Majesty's Government do more than protest, and will demand a proper apology and compensation in this case?
asked the Prime Minister what action he proposes to take about the violation of the Hague Conventions involved in the wholesale shooting of Chinese prisoners and the machine-gunning of boats containing Chinese women and children during the course of the recent attack by the Japanese army on the island of Amoy?
I have no official reports that boats containing Chinese women and children were machine-gunned, but a number of Chinese soldiers were taken prisoner and shot on Amoy bund by the Japanese. His Majesty's Government cannot too strongly deplore and condemn such a violation of the Hague Conventions.
While thanking the Under-Secretary for his condemnation of these incidents, may I ask whether he will consider making a formal protest to Tokyo, which might have an effect on the conduct of Japanese soldiers?