HC Deb 07 September 1909 vol 10 cc1092-3

asked the Prime Minister whether he has noticed the renewed interest awakened in Germany on the subject of a possible agreement as to sea armaments between that country and Great Britain; and, having regard to the growth of naval expenditure disclosed in the Return just issued to Parliament, is he able to hold out any hope that fresh efforts will be made by His Majesty's Government to arrive at the basis of some understanding which would relieve the peoples of both countries of the burden of such expenditure?


asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to a statement signed by His Excellency Dr. von Holleben, late Ambassador at Washington, as well as other representative public men of Germany, in favour of a reduction of armaments; and whether, in view of this pronouncement and his statement that the Government were anxious to come to some arrangement with other Powers, he will take advantage of this opportunity to make further representations to the German Government, with a view to a mutual understanding as to a limitation of naval armaments?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

My hon. Friends may be assured that any intimation that the German Government desire to take such an arrangement as is suggested into consideration will meet with a most cordial response from His Majesty's Government, and it must be quite clear after the public statements which have already been made by responsible Ministers of the Crown that no representations from His Majesty's Government are required to prove that this is the case.


Is it not possible for the initiative to be taken on this side, considering the enormous international interests involved?


We have taken the initiative.


Information which has been received in a more or less informal way—


The hon. Member has asked his question and has had his answer.