HC Deb 06 May 1931 vol 252 cc370-1
7. Captain EDEN

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement as to the present state of the Franco-Italian naval negotiations and as to the attitude of the Government in the matter?

14. Commander SOUTHBY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can make a further statement regarding the state of the negotiations between the French and Italian Governments on the subject of naval armaments?


The position up to 29th April last was given in the reply returned on that date to the hon. and gallant Members for Lewes (Rear Admiral Beamish) and the Isle of Wight (Captain Macdonald) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood). The answer of the Italian Government to the French Government's memorandum of 20th April was delivered on Monday last, and a copy has been communicated to His Majesty's Government. I am now awaiting the reply of the French Government. When this has been received, both replies will be most carefully considered.

Commander SOUTHBY

Will the right hon. Gentleman say how he reconciles the present state of affairs with the statement made on his return and that of the First Lord from France and Italy that complete agreement had been reached?


I have tried to explain in repeated answers to questions that there is said to have been a misunderstanding, but I can assure the House that the negotiations so far as they have gone have been conducted with the utmost good will, and we are not without hope that a settlement will be reached.

Commander BELLAIRS

May I ask whether these negotiations take into consideration the large number of warships which are being built in Italy for foreign countries?


If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will permit me to say-so, I can see no connection at all between his question and my answer.