HC Deb 10 May 1923 vol 163 cc2567-8

asked the. Prime Minister whether, as the policy pursued in answering the German Reparation Note indicates a widening divergency between the French and British Governments, he will enter into full and frank negotiations with the French Government, having in view the fact that without Allied solidarity there can be no permanent peace in Europe or Asiatic Turkey?


If the right hon. Member will refer to the statement made in another place by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on the 20th April, he will find that His Majesty's Government are fully aware of the importance of the maintenance of Allied solidarity, on which their present policy is based.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

On a point of Order. Is it in order to refer in this House to debates in another place?


I did not hear the answer. I cannot, therefore, give a ruling on the matter.


Can the right hon. Gentleman now say whether the House will be put in possession of the British reply to the German Note in time for this evening's Debate?


No, certainly not.

50. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister whether the recent Note by the German Government on reparations was presented to the Government of the United States of America; and whether His Majesty's Government proposes to exchange views on that Note with the United States Government as well as the Royal Italian Government?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative; to the last part of the question it is in the negative, the United States Government having made no claim upon Germany for reparations, and there being no indication that to consult them might not merely be a source of embarrassment to them.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Have the United States Government sent a claim for the cost of the United States Army of Occupation, and, in any case, why do we rule out a friendly nation who might assist us in a difficult situation?


According to my recollection, the claim to which the hon. and gallant Member refers is entirely separate from the general question of reparation.

Captain BENN

Is it not a fact that the German suggestion to refer their claim to arbitration originated in the speech of Mr. Hughes?


I am not aware of that fact.


asked the Prime Minister if he is prepared, on behalf of the British Government, to advise the German Government that, if it is prepared to raise the proposed payments in reparations from £1,500,000,000 to £2,500,000,000, he is willing to use the best offices of this country to persuade France and Belgium to reopen negotiations?


I must ask my hon. Friend to await the publication of the reply of His Majesty's Government to the German Note of the 2nd May.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not think it essential that. His Majesty's Government should state quite clearly the minimum sum which they think that Germany ought to pay, and the maximum sum which it may be said that France ought to demand, so that there will be a reasonable chance of negotiation? In view of the unsatisfactory answer to my question, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter at the first opportunity on the Motion for the Adjournment.