HC Deb 10 June 1931 vol 253 cc981-2

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement to the House as a result of his recent communications with Foreign Powers regarding the fixing of a regular date for Easter?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Arthur Henderson)

The following Governments have returned replies favourable to a fixed date for Easter, subject in each case to certain conditions: Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland. The following Governments have referred the question to a committee for further investigation: Netherlands, Italy, France, Portugal. The following Governments consider that the question is primarily one to be settled by the Church, rather than by the State: Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria, Rumania, Germany and Belgium. Noncommittal replies have been received from the Governments of Albania, Norway, Spain and Sweden. No answer has been received from the Governments of Greece or Latvia.


If it is a fact that none of them have turned down the suggestion, will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence and apply again to see if he can get the Powers to agree?


In the light of the variable character of the replies that we have received, I do not think I can bring very much pressure to bear at the moment.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is no demand whatever in this country for a fixed Easter?


Will the right hon. Gentleman say what was the reply from his friends in Russia?


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has had any recent communications with any of our Colonies regarding the fixing of a regular date for Easter; and, if so, what was the result of such communications?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Dr. Drummond Shiels)

The reply to the first part of the question is in the negative.


In view of the universal agreement on the question of a fixed Easter in this country, will the hon. Member call the attention of the Colonies to the matter?


We called the attention of the Colonies to the Easter Act, but we have had no comment from them. We promised that if there was any prospect of an Order-in-Council being made to communicate with them further.