45. Lieut.-Colonel A. MURRAY
asked the Prime Minister if he will lay before Parliament the papers relative to the events leading up to the Greek defeat in Asia Minor and the fall of Smyrna last year; and to the negotiations with the Turkish Nationalist authorities in September?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The question whether correspondence on this subject should be laid has been carefully considered. His Majesty's Government earnestly hope that with the conclusion of definite peace between Greece and Turkey, now happily assured, the feeling of animosity and bitterness between the two peoples will abate and finally disappear. From this point of view, His Majesty's Government have come to the conclusion that it would be highly impolitic now to lay papers concerning past controversies the publication of which can in the circumstances serve no useful purpose.
Is it not in accordance with the constitutional practice of Parliament that papers of this description should be laid, and can the Government give any reason why they have not been laid in this instance?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these papers were originally refused because peace had not been concluded, and now they are being refused because peace has been concluded; and is it not altogether contrary to the practice of Parliament that papers dealing with great public transactions of this kind should not be laid for the purpose of enabling the House and the country to judge?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the late Prime Minister said he was perfectly prepared to consider the question of laying the papers when peace had been concluded?
§ Captain Viscount CURZON
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that question, may I ask him what these matters between Greece and Turkey can possibly have to do with us?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
We want to know who is responsible. Lord Curzon was in it, too, and that is why you are afraid.