2. Mr. PONSONBY
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the letter from the Emperor of Austria making suggestions for a peace settlement in March, 1917, and the correspondence which followed were submitted to the Prime Minister; whether the Prime Minister informed his colleagues; whether all information as to the negotiations which were being carried on with Austria was withheld from the Governments of Russia, Belgium, and the United States; whether an investigation into these secret negotiations is now being conducted by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French Chamber; and what opportunity will be afforded to this House to elicit the facts?
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply returned on this subject to the hon. Member for Hanley on 15th April, and to that which the Secretary of State gave yesterday to the hon. Member for the Hexham Division, to which, I am afraid, I can add nothing.
Would the right hon. Gentleman ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in addition to the declaration of the French Chamber, which he informed the House yesterday would be communicated to this House, he would also give a report of the action of His Majesty's Government towards the negotiations initiated by the Emperor Karl, all of which were communicated to the Prime Minister?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
Would the right hon. Gentleman also ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he intends to adhere to the reply to the hon. Member for Hanley, that he will make no statement on this subject, in view of the fact that the letter of the Emperor Charles is only the latest indication that a year ago the Government had the basis of a just and an honourable peace, and that millions of men are dying?
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Prime Minister settled the matter of peace or war without reference to him, at the cost of a million of lives?