58. Mr. VYVYAN ADAMS
asked the Lord President of the Council whether the Government still propose to endeavour to obtain a convention at Geneva for the general reduction or limitation of air armaments by international agreement, in view of the fact that it is proposed to make immediate increases in the British Air Force?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton East (Mr. Mander), to which I have nothing to add.
While thanking the Lord President for his answer, may I ask what inference the House and the country are to draw from the speech of the Noble Lord the Air Minister on the 27th June in another place?
§ Mr. SIMMONDS
Is it not a fact that one of the disabilities of our representatives at Geneva has been that, when they have suggested the reduction of other air forces, they have found that we have virtually no Air Force to reduce, and is it not a fact that if the Government were to strengthen our Air Force, there would be a better opportunity for obtaining a disarmament convention?
§ Mr. BERNAYS
Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance to the House that no increase in the Air Force will be decided upon unless and until the Disarmament Conference breaks down?
§ Sir AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Will my right hon. Friend consider the obligations which this country has undertaken under the Covenant of the League of 2071 Nations, and arrange that the forces of this country shall be equal to the fulfilment of those obligations?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
That, of course, is a very grave responsibility that rests on the Government at any time in this country.