HC Deb 27 March 1917 vol 92 cc187-8

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to a series of meetings arranged to be held at the Royal Overseas Officers' Club, Pall Mall, tickets for which are to be obtained from the secretary of the Imperial Mission of the Tariff Reform League; whether this club is under the control in any way of the War Office; and, if so, whether it is allowed to have meetings called by a political association in a club which is entirely used by British overseas officers?


This club is controlled through a committee by the General Officer Commanding London District. The lectures were arranged before the club was taken over, and the General Officer Commanding saw no reason to order their discontinuance as they did not appear to him to be in any way of a political nature. The meetings arranged are those at which the Prime Ministers from overseas are asked to speak on problems of the Empire. On the last occasion the Prime Minister of New Zealand was the principal speaker, and on the 30th the principal speaker is the Right Hon. Sir Edward Morris, Prime Minister of Newfoundland. The reason why the tickets were, obtainable from the secretary of the Imperial Mission of the Tariff Reform League was that it was this body which had arranged for those meetings, but in future the subjects of all meetings will be submitted to the General Officer Commanding London District, and tickets will be obtainable from the committee which under his direction administers the club.


Is this the same league which just before the War was taking parties of British workers to Germany to convert them to Prussianism, and was the commanding officer aware of these pro-German activities of this league?


I cannot add anything to my answer.


Does my hon. Friend really believe that this committee has no political objects?