Sir J. D. REES
(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any announcement as regards recent developments of British policy in Persia?
The text of the Anglo-Persian Agreement, signed at Tehran on 9th August, has been laid on the Table, and the hon. Member will have seen that His Majesty's Government are pledged to respect absolutely the independence and integrity of Persia, that we undertake to supply Persia with expert advisers for the various branches of their administration, and to assist them to establish a uniform military force. Furthermore, we propose to lend Persia £2,000,000 at 7 per cent., secured on the Persian Customs revenues, in order to allow the Persian Government to initiate the reforms in contemplation.
The policy of His Majesty's Government is to assist Persia to re-establish herself on a sound basis, and there is not the slightest foundation for the suspicion that His Majesty's Government propose, or that the Persian Government would have consented to, the creation of anything in the nature of a British Protectorate. The attitude of the Persian Cabinet in negotiating the present agreement, and 1917 the impending visit of the Shah to this country, are a sufficient answer to any such insinuation. The Persian Government turned to Great Britain as its most powerful and friendly neighbour, and this country would have departed from its traditional policy of warm interest in, and regard for, the Persian Government and people, had it declined to respond to the appeal.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
Are we to understand that this Treaty will be laid before the Council of the League of Nations?