The British Chargé (Osborne) to the Secretary of State

No. 265

Sir: I have the honour to refer to your note of the 22nd July last (846G.113/249) regarding the export of arms to China via Hong Kong, and to inform you that arrangements have been made for the new procedure outlined in Sir Ronald Lindsay’s note No. 179 of the 1st July to be applied in respect of all consignments of arms shipped from exporting countries on or after the 1st October next. In the case of those countries which have not adopted a licensing system consignments will only be granted “in transit” facilities on production of a contract made between some person or persons in China and some person or persons in the exporting country.

Shipments of arms from Hong Kong to Macao will, equally with shipments destined for China, be subject to the licensing regulations. In particular exports of war material will only be permitted to the Government of that colony or their accredited representatives. The attention of the Governor of Hong Kong has, however, been called to the statement contained in your note under reference and his comments thereon have been called for.

In response to the request contained in your note that the United States Government should be kept informed of shipments of arms from Belgium or Switzerland, His Majesty’s Government are prepared to communicate informally to the United States Embassy in London the figures supplied bi-annually by the Government of Hong Kong in respect of Belgium, Switzerland and the United States, and in respect of all countries combined.

I have [etc.]

D. G. Osborne