HC Deb 23 July 1923 vol 167 cc31-2
55. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the proposals submitted by the late Prime Minister on behalf of the British Government in January of this year at the Inter-Allied Conference on Reparations at Paris, as recorded on page 116 of Cmd. 1812, stipulating that in the event of Germany failing to fulfil the terms proposed, including the stabilising of the mark and the reform of her fiscal arrangements, German revenues and assets would be forcibly seized and German territories outside the Treaty occupation area would be occupied by the Allied troops; whether the territories the occupation of which was contemplated included the valley of the Ruhr; and, if not, what were the further German territories which it was contemplated by the British Government would have to be occupied in the event of Germany's continued default in the payment of reparations?


The action which His Majesty's Government were willing to take in accordance with the proposals made in Paris in January last was dependent on the fixing of the total charge on Germany for reparation and all other payments under the Treaty of Versailles at a figure which His Majesty's Government considered to be that within Germany's capacity to pay and on the various other conditions contained in the British proposals, including a moratorium for several years and an arbitral tribunal on which Germany would be represented. The answer to the last two parts of the question is that this point had obviously not arisen.


Is it not the fact that it was definitely laid down in the British terms that, if Germany did not accept those terms, further territory was to be occupied, and will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the territory it was contemplated to occupy was not the valley of the Ruhr?


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any definite sum has been stated that the Germans have got to pay for reparation?


Not very recently.


Are we to understand that the suggestion in the last part of the question was bluff in the sense indicated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George)?


The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs did nothing else but bluff!