§ 8. Mr. ROBERT YOUNG
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can state the specific grounds on which His Majesty's Government agreed to the adoption of the Report of the Inter-Imperial Relations Committee of the Imperial Conference, which declared that it was at present premature to accept the compulsory submission to the Permanent Court of International Justice of certain limited classes of legal dispute, as defined in Article 36 of the Statute of that Court and likewise the grounds on which His Majesty's Government pledged itself to take no action in the matter without bringing it up for further discussion by the Governments of the British Empire?
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
I regret that it would require a long statement which it is scarcely practicable to make in the form of an answer to a question, in order to give the information which the hon. Member asks for in the first part of his question. As regards the last part of the question, it is obviously important that all the Governments of the Empire shall act in concert in a matter of such importance in order to avoid the international complications which would otherwise be inevitable.
§ 54. Mr. YOUNG
also asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether, in supporting the declaration of the Inter-Imperial Relations Committee of the Imperial Conference, that they favoured the widest possible extension of the method of arbitration for the settlement of international disputes, he envisaged any methods of extending arbitration, other than the acceptance of the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice, in certain legal disputes defined in Article 36 of the Statute of the permanent court; and, if so, what was the nature of such other methods?
§ Mr. AMERY
My understanding is that the passage in the Report of the Inter-Imperial Relations Committee to which the hon. Member refers was intended not as a recommendation for specific courses of action but as an affirmation of the general principles guiding the Governments of the Empire, as embodied in Article 13 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. As the hon. Member is aware, it was agreed at the Imperial Conference that it would be premature for the present to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice under Article 36 of its Statute in all the cases covered by that article, but His Majesty's Government have on many occasions shown their willingness to submit to judicial settlement, either by the Permanent Court or by any other tribunal which might be deemed more appropriate in any particular case, any dispute whose nature was such that it appeared to them susceptible of being satisfactorily disposed of by such means, and this continues to be their policy.