§ 1. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, having regard to the continuing Japanese policy of obstructing the import and export trade of all other nations with the occupied areas of China, he will discuss with the Government of the United States the possibility of imposing retaliatory restrictions on Japanese trade with British and American territories?
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Butler)
His Majesty's Government are in close touch with the United States Government on all matters of common interest in the Far East, but I am not prepared to make any further statement at present.
§ Sir A. Knox
Is it not true that this restriction and interference with trade are getting worse and worse every day, and, unless something is done, the Japanese will never stop, but it will continue to get worse?
§ 2. Mr. Hannah
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent it is possible for British firms in China to carry on import and export business in the occupied areas, through normal trade channels, in any line of goods in which Japanese firms have a competing interest?
§ 6. Sir John Wardlaw-Milne
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the quality and kind of goods which may be imported into the occupied areas of China are determined by Japanese trade bureaux, with the result that only foreign goods which cannot be provided by Japan will in future obtain entry; and what steps he is taking to protect British trade?
§ Mr. Butler
As regards the trade position in the occupied areas of China, I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave on 29th January. While there are no hard-and-fast rules as to the kind of goods of which import is permitted and the practice varies in different parts of the occupied areas, the system of trade and exchange controls set up by the Japanese tends to favour Japanese interests. His Majesty's Government, in common with other interested Governments, have made repeated representations against the discrimination involved, but have hitherto received no satisfaction.
§ Mr. Hannah
Is it not time that we, in combination with America, spoke to Japan in exceedingly plain language?
§ 7. Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Japanese regulations restricting foreign trade in the occupied parts of China have resulted in Japanese officials and others establishing a vast system of illicit commissions and bribes as the only means of obtaining the necessary licences to import or export goods; and whether he will ask the Japanese Government to take action to bring these practices to an end at once?
§ Mr. Butler
Whether or not the situation is as described, my right hon. Friend would not feel able, without concrete evidence of prejudice to British interests, to take the matter up with the Japanese Government.