HC Deb 08 November 1927 vol 210 cc29-30
35. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister if he can make any statement as to the progress of the various negotiations for reduction of armaments; and when the matter will come up, and in what form, for discussion in the House?


As my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, the recent Conference on the limitation of naval armaments was unable to reach agreement, and the only discussions for the reduction of armaments now in progress are those of the Preparatory Commission on Disarmament. The last Assembly of the League passed a resolution requesting the Council to urge the Preparatory Commission to hasten the completion of its technical work and to convene the disarmament conference immediately this work has been completed. It also requested the Council to instruct the Preparatory Commission to create a committee which would be placed at the Commission's disposal and would be charged with the duty of considering, on the lines indicated by the Commission, the measures capable of giving States the guarantees of arbitration and security necessary to enable them to fix the level of their armaments at the lowest possible figures. In pursuance of this resolution, the Preparatory Commission on Disarmament will meet on the 30th of this month. The Council holds its usual quarterly meeting at the beginning of December and will, no doubt, give effect to the wish expressed by the Assembly. As regards the second part of the question, I am not in a position at present to make any statement.

Commander BELLAIRS

In view of the participation of Soviet Russia in the negotiations, has that Power made any communication as to the extent of its own armaments?


I am not aware of that.


Who will take the place of Lord Cecil when the Preparatory Commission meets?


The holder of the same office, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.