HC Deb 12 February 1930 vol 235 cc382-3

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether that part of Article 8 of the Covenant of the League of Nations under which the members of the League undertake to interchange full and frank information as to the scale of their armaments, their military, naval and air programmes, and the condition of such of their industries as are adaptable to warlike purposes, has been fully carried out by all members; and, if not, what the position is?


His Majesty's Government, together with other Governments members of the League, are endeavouring to negotiate at Geneva a general convention for the reduction and limitation of armaments. The intention is that this convention shall provide for the completest possible publicity in regard to the armaments of each country. There is also in existence a draft convention on the manufacture of arms, which would cover a good deal of the ground. There are, however, difficulties in the way of acceptance of this latter, convention pending agreement on the general disarmament convention. As the hon. Member knows, every effort is being made to make progress with the general convention. In the meanwhile, the Armaments Year Book, issued at Geneva, affords relatively full information in regard to the armaments of all States.


Do I understand from that answer that up to the present time the obligations of different countries under that Article have not, as a matter of fact, been carried out?


I am afraid that that is so.