HC Deb 18 February 1918 vol 103 c454
16. Mr. R. LAMBERT

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Albania was, in 1913, recognised by the Great Powers as an independent State and declared neutral and taken under protection; whether Albania is still regarded as an independent neutral State; whether any undertaking given by, or agreement made between, any of the Allies must be construed subject to Albanian independence and integrity; and whether the doctrine of the self-determination of peoples is applicable to Albania?


The arrangements come to in 1913, to which Albania was not a party, have ceased to have binding force, as all the signatory Powers are now engaged in war. As regards the future, I can say no more than that His Majesty's Government would be glad to see the principle of nationality applied as far as possible to this as to the other difficult questions which will have to be settled at the Peace Conference. I may add that the greater part of Albania is now in the occupation of the enemy.


Are we to understand that where all the signatories to a treaty or guarantee of neutrality are at war the treaty or guarantee of neutrality becomes void?


Treaties between Powers at war, of course, become void.


What becomes of the argument regarding Belgium? Is not Albania in the same position as Belgium— is it not a scrap of paper?


The hon. Member is exhibiting an amazing confusion of ideas. Germany attacked Belgium contrary to her treaty obligations.


Has not a treaty been signed between Italy?


The question on the Paper relates to Albania.

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