§ Colonel DAY
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present position in China; and whether any fatalities have been reported among the European staff of the tramways at Shanghai?
Feng Yuhsiang's threat to Shantung, which was mentioned in my reply To The hon. Member on the 7th instant, appears to have 2523W proved ineffective. The latest reports show that about a week ago the Ankuochün (Northern Army) gained a victory at Hsuchowfu, as a result of which Feng Yu-hsiang was compelled to retreat. The friction between the rival military factions at Hankow continues, and the latest reports show the situation there to be disquieting. On the 11th December, Communists and the Red Labour Unions at Canton, with the assistance of a certain number of revolted troops took advantage of the absence of the main forces on an expedition up the West River and seized control of the city. They issued proclamations in the name of the Canton Soviet, ordering the confiscation of land and houses, the extermination of landlords and the destruction of title-deeds, and they released all prisoners. The local authorities took refuge on the south bank of the river, which they still hold. They hurriedly brought troops from the out-lying districts and commenced a counterattack on the morning of the 13th December, and are now reported to have retaken the city and to be restoring order.
On the 12th December, His Majesty's Vice-Consul at Canton proceeded down the river in His Majesty's ship "Moorhen" to evacuate foreigners from the suburbs of the city. The party was heavily fired on by Communists on the way down, but succeeded in bringing away without casualty 81 refugees, of whom 11 were British, 15 American, and 55 German. As far as is known no foreigners at Canton have been molested in the course of this rising. The preliminary conference of the Kuomintang, sitting at Shanghai, decided on the 10th December that Chiang Kai-shek should resume his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Nationalist forces. The proceedings of the conference exhibited divergencies of view between the various sections of the Kuomintang. As regards the second part of the hon. Member's question, I am glad to say that in the course of the present tramway strike at Shanghai, no fatalities have been reported among the European staff