HC Deb 23 February 1922 vol 150 cc2090-2
32. Captain BENN

asked the Prime Minister whether the House will have an opportunity of discussing the agenda of the Genoa Conference; and whether he will state for what reason it was decided not to ask the League of Nations to convene this Conference, in view of the fact that both America and Germany sent representatives to the Brussels Conference which was convened by the League?

Sir J. D. REES

Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I ask whether it is usual to ask people to arrange for their own funerals?


In the present state of public business I cannot undertake to provide a special opportunity for such a discussion. As to the second part of the question, I have already given at length the reasons which actuated the Supreme Council in their decision.

Captain BENN

Do I understand, Mr. Speaker, that there will be an opportunity on the Supplementary Estimates of the Foreign Office for discussing the whole of the Genoa Conference policy?


That is not a matter On which I can give a ruling, nor can the Minister reply. It is a matter for the Chairman of Ways and Means.

Captain BENN

Can the Prime Minister say whether a discussion relative to the merits of the Conference will take place before the Genoa Conference meets?

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Does the Prime Minister recollect that before the Washington Conference took place a very useful discussion took place in this House, and cannot time be found for this vital discussion before the Genoa Conference?


Mr. Speaker has very pertinently reminded me that it is not for me to express an opinion as to the opportunity for the Debate. I believe that discussions of this character are best taken on the Vote on Account, but as to that the authorities of the House would have to answer and not the Minister.


The right hon. Gentleman will remember that the first Vote on Account is ear-marked for a discussion on the Unemployment, Ministry of Health Bill.


Will the Prime Minister seriously and favourably consider the advisability of helping the starving millions of Russia?


I hope the Noble Lord will be good enough to postpone that question. I wish he would not press me at the present time.

38. Mr. L. MALONE

asked the Prime Minister when and where the conference of experts, preliminary to Genoa, will meet; and who are the British experts?


There will no doubt be interchange of ideas from time to time between the officials concerned, and it is hoped to have a meeting with French and other experts shortly. An international agenda committee wilt meet shortly before the Conference. At present the material for the Conference is being examined by officials of the De- partments concerned, and representatives of business interests are being, and will be, consulted. I hope to discuss the whole question with the French President of the Council Saturday next.