§ 2. Mr. KING
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether the Secret Treaty of 26th April, 1915, made by four Powers to secure Italian entry into the War, was intended to be kept secret from our Allies, Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, and Japan; if so, whether it has since been officially communicated to the United States or any other Allied State; if not, whether it will now be communicated to President Wilson and the other Allied Governments; (2) whether the secrecy enjoined on the signatory Powers by Article 16 of 1407 the quartipartite Treaty of London, dated 26th April, 1915, is to be understood as precluding the parties to it from disclosing the existence of the treaty, or from disclosing the objects and provisions of the treaty, or only from publishing the actual language and text of the treaty; (3) whether the quartipartite treaty made at London on 26th April, 1915, previous to Italy's entrance into the War, was, by Article 16, a secret treaty; whether he is aware that early in the War Italian statesmen made known and Italian and other Allied newspapers published the contents, but not the exact language, of this treaty, and that the Russian Government has published the full text of this treaty: whether the strict secrecy of this treaty was an essential part of its validity; and whether, now that one party to the treaty, namely Russia, has published its text, and the other countries, parties to it, have allowed full publicity to its engagements, he will either state that this treaty is no longer binding or will approach the other signatory Powers with a view to its being set aside?
§ Lord R. CECIL
I think the House will see that it would not be right for me to answer questions about a treaty which is described in the question as secret.
Ought the House not to be informed at this stage of the War whether the Treaty of London is binding upon this country as regards Italy or not?
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Is the Noble Lord's reply due to the fact that in the past he has denied the existence of such treaties in this House?