HC Deb 20 July 1925 vol 186 cc1827-8
57. Captain BENN

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is proposed to continue the negotiations on the Security Pact by means of the interchange of notes or by means of a conference of the parties to the proposed pact?


The future course of the negotiations must depend on the nature of the German reply to the French Note of the 16th June.


Will the German reply be published on Wednesday?


I do not know. I expect to receive it simultaneously with its delivery in Paris. I understand that it will be delivered to me simultaneously with its delivery in Paris this afternoon, and publication ought to be at the same time in all places. I have no information about the publication except such as I have derived from the public Press.

Commander BELLAIRS

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether negotiations with the Dominions are proceeding simultaneously with the exchange of these notes?


No, Sir. Negotiations are not proceeding with the Dominions. The Dominion Governments, however, have been kept fully informed of everything in connection with the negotiations undertaken or the conversations undertaken by His Majesty's Government.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether steps are being taken to ascertain the views of the Dominions on this question?


My hon. Friend knows that quite early in the existence of this Government His Majesty's Government expressed the desire and the hope that the Dominions would send representatives to a conference to consider the answer to be made upon the Protocol and upon the questions that might arise in connection with the Protocol. That has not been found possible. All we can do at present is to keep the Dominions fully informed of all that we are doing.


Will this Pact be signed before the Dominions have expressed their approval or their views upon it?


I cannot say about that, but what I can say is—it ought to be needless for me to say it—that His Majesty's Government will not pretend to commit the Dominions without the consent of their Government and, if they think fit, of their Parliaments.