HC Deb 15 December 1926 vol 200 cc2903-4
3. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state the policy of the Government with regard to the withdrawal of Allied military forces from the Rhineland?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Austen Chamberlain)

If the hon. Member is referring to an earlier withdrawal than that provided for in Article 429 of the Treaty of Versailles, I can only say that the policy of His Majesty's Government in this matter continues to be governed by the conditions laid down in Article 431 of the Treaty. Apart from this, the question is one in which His Majesty's Government are acting in consultation with the other Governments whose troops are in occupation of the Rhineland.


Would it not be better if joint representations could be made for the withdrawal of all military forces from the Rhineland? Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that this would create a better feeling between the different countries and the Germans?


If the troops are to be withdrawn before the time fixed by the Treaty, it can only be as a result of an arrangement between the occupying Powers and the German authorities, to which arrangement the German Government would be willing to contribute their share.


Will the right hon. Gentleman initiate proceedings with this object, and try to persuade the other Powers to take this action?


The matter has been the subject of discussion between the representatives of the different Powers, but time is required for steps of this kind, and not merely time, but the active co-operation of the Government of Germany with the other Governments, to find a solution.