HC Deb 06 May 1931 vol 252 cc365-6
9. Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Soviet Government will take part in the next Disarmament Conference at Geneva; and if he will arrange for a White Paper to be circulated to the House giving particulars, in such detail as is available, of the present strength of the army, air force, and navy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the annual expenditure which is now being incurred on the maintenance and development of these forces?


I have no reason to suppose that the Soviet Government will not take part in the Disarmament Conference of 1932. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer to the reply returned by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War to the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Marjoribanks) on 24th February. The hon. and gallant Member will find full information in the League of Nations Armaments Year Book, and I do not therefore consider that the expense of the publication of a White Paper would be justified.


Considering the importance of this question, and the cost of issuing a White Paper, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that the House is entitled to information? Is it not the fact that the Soviet Government is raising a large number of soldiers, sailors and airmen at the present time?


I am not belittling the importance of this question, but if the information is already available in the document to which I have referred, I think the hon. and gallant Member should take it into consideration.




Does the hon. Member rise to a point of Order?


Yes. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to me. Am I in order in asking a supplementary question?