§ 1. Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has now made further inquiries into the labour conditions prevailing in the Russian timber trade; and whether he can now give any information to the House as to the present conditions?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Arthur Henderson)
As I have frequently stated, in the absence of full facilities being afforded by the Soviet Government, no useful purpose would be served by instituting such inquiries.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to avail himself of the report of the Anti-Slavery Society in this matters?
§ Mr. McSHANE
Have not the Soviet Government openly given an opportunity for any Press representative to go there to inquire into the conditions?
§ 3. Sir AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he has taken or proposes to take in reference to the report from the Anti-Slavery Society on the conditions of labour in the Russian timber camps?
In putting this question, may I offer my congratulations to the right hon. Gentleman on his selection as President of the Disarmament Conference.
§ Mr. A. HENDERSON
May I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his congratulations.
In reply to the question, I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the reply returned yesterday to the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Commander Bellairs).
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the precedent set by Lord Grey in connection with the report of conditions in certain Portuguese cocoa plantations, when, on receiving a report in which I think Messrs. Cadbury's firm and others collaborated, he transmitted it to the Government concerned for their consideration?
§ Mr. HENDERSON
This report has not yet been published. I have seen a proof of it and I think that it will be better for hon. Members to wait; copies will be available shortly. When they have read it, I am not so sure that they will be so keen for me to act on it.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
When the right hon. Gentleman said yesterday that he did not intend to act on the report, did that mean that no review would make the Government act on the report?