§ 52. Mr. RENNIE SMITH
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government can make any suggestion to the League of Nations for the convening of the next meeting of the Preparatory Commission for General Disarmament?
According to the resolution of the Council of the League of Nations, it is the duty of the President of the Preparatory Commission for Disarmament to summon the Commission to meet early next year. No communication has been received as yet by His Majesty's Government on the subject, but they will be willing to take part in a further meeting of the Commission at any time that is convenient to all the other Governments concerned.
§ Mr. SMITH
In view of the fact that the delay has been mainly due to the negotiations which His Majesty's Government have been conducting with France and the United States, and in view of the breakdown of those negotiations, will not the right hon. Gentleman undertake to make some suggestion as to the date?
I do not think it is our business to make any suggestion. The Council itself passed a resolution that it should be left entirely in the hands of the Chairman, and we are awaiting his desires in the matter.
§ 54. Mr. SMITH
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether consideration has been given to the suggestion of the Italian Government in its reply to the Anglo-French Agreement to the effect that the Italian Government was ready to reduce her armaments to any level, however low, provided it was not less than any other Continental European Power; and whether His Majesty's Government can use this suggestion as a basis for a new discussion on disarmament?
The statement to which the hon. Member refers is a repetition of a declaration made by 44 the Italian representative in the Preparatory Commission, and has been: before that body during its past discussions. It would not be desirable to-anticipate or prejudge any future discussions of the Commission at which the declaration may be further considered.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
Is my right hon. Friend aware that that proposal of the Italian Government would involve raising the Italian Army to the level of the Russian Red Army?