HC Deb 21 July 1924 vol 176 cc868-70

asked the Prime Minister whether the ratification by the Iraq Assembly of the Anglo-Iraq Treaty, subject to the rider attached that the Treaty should be null and void if the British Government failed to safeguard the rights of Iraq in the Mosul vilayet, is accepted by the Government as full ratification; and if it is intended to accept the responsibility suggested by the condition attached by the Iraq Assembly?


I have been asked to reply to this question. The right hon. Gentleman appears to be misinformed as to the facts. There has never teen any question of ratification by the Constituent Assembly. Under Article 18 of the Treaty, their acceptance was made a condition precedent of ratification by the High Contracting Parties. This condition has now been fulfilled; and King Feisal has intimated his willingness to ratify as soon as this country is in a position to do so. The rider cannot affect the validity of the Treaty when once it has been ratified; nor do we regard it as imposing any responsibility on His Majesty's Government.


Do I understand that His Majesty's Government accept responsibility for the defence of the Mosul vilayet against any possible enemy?


That is not implied in my answer. If my right hon. Friend will put that question down separately, I will give him an answer.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

With regard to the first answer, do we understand that the King of Iraq will ratify the Treaty but not the rider, and that the document which will reach us will not contain the rider?


I cannot say what the document, when it reaches us, will contain. I am only dealing with the position of His Majesty's Government.

Captain BENN

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider the Constituent Assembly has assented to the Treaty despite this rider, which renders it nugatory?


Are we to understand that this condition imposes no fresh responsibility on His Majesty's Government?


No; I have already answered it.