§ 45. Mr. KIRKWOOD
asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the demand in the country for the abolition of private 262 profit in the manufacture and sale of armaments; and will he bring in a Measure for the nationalisation of armaments and the prohibition of their export to foreign countries?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)
I am, of course, aware that the Opposition included a demand for the abolition of the private manufacture of armaments in their Motion of Censure on lath November. I have nothing to add to the full statement about the matter made by my hon. Friend, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, during the Debate on the Motion for Adjournment on 7th November, and to the observations I made myself on the subject last Tuesday.
§ Mr. HANNON
Is there a single order in a British armament firm for the production of any kind of armament for war purposes?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
In view of the very large quantities of munitions of war that have been exported during the past few months, does not the right hon. Gentleman think it is of primary importance that the Government should not only consider the question of profit in arms, but that they should make it a prime question at Geneva at every opportunity?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Now that the right hon. Gentleman is Prime Minister, why does he refuse to put into operation what for 30 years before he was Prime Minister he preached along with me?
Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that at every by-election this question of the manufacture of arms is engaging the attention of all, Tories, Liberals and Labour, and will he make it quite certain that the Government will do all they can at Geneva to do away with the private manufacture of arms?
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
Is there any reason why the sole orders for armaments should go to the Noble Lady's constituency?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Am I to understand from the Prime Minister's answer that I was under a misapprehension all those 30 years, that the Prime Minister of this country was not a Socialist as I thought, and that he was only kidding us? That 30 years was the best part of his life, and all that he says now can be brought up against him. I want the Prime Minister to put himself right, not only with the House but with the country, in reply to my question.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
What I wish to say is that in this matter there is no change in policy between the Labour Government and this Government.