HC Deb 10 December 1934 vol 296 cc15-6
15. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what will be the composition of the international force used to maintain order during the Saar plebiscite; and whether other troops as well as British troops will be employed?


On Saturday the Council of the League decided to invite contingents for the international force to assist in maintaining order during the Saar plebiscite from His Majesty's Government and the Governments of Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. The second part of my hon. and gallant Friend's question does not therefore appear to arise. The House has already been informed that His Majesty's Government and the Government of Italy are prepared to participate. I am now in a position to say that both the Netherlands Government and the Swedish Government have intimated that they will also take part. We may therefore hope that a force composed of contingents from the four States I have named will be on duty in the Saar before Christmas.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say to what extent the other nations are prepared to co-operate, and who is to command this force?


With regard to the first part of the question, I could not make any statement to-day. As to the second part, I think the House may take it that the commander-in-chief of the international force will be British.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, in the event of the despatch of British troops to the Saar territory, the Government will consider issuing orders that they shall wear full-dress uniform in order to emphasise their policing functions?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Douglas Hacking)

I regret that for reasons of economy British troops, other than His Majesty's Household troops and regimental bands and drums, do not possess full-dress uniform. Any band or drums which may form part of the troops despatched to the Saar territory will take full-dress uniform.