§ 52. Mr. MANDER
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that on page 46 of the progress report of the committee for the regulation of the trade in and the private and State manufacture of arms and implements of war, in the result of the second question of the questionnaire asking for information as to what undertakings were chiefly or largely engaged in the manufacture of arms, it is stated that whereas there are 20 entirely private enterprises in Belgium, 107 in France, 60 in the United States, 5 in Yugoslavia, 9 in Switzerland, 9 in Poland, 6 in Rumania, there are none in the United Kingdom; 1655 and whether he will take steps to more adequately describe the comparative situation in this country?
§ The LORD PRIVY SEAL (Mr. Eden)
The table on page 46 of the report to which the hon. Member refers was drawn up by the Secretariat of the League of Nations upon the request of the chairman of the Sub-committee on the Manufacture of Arms in an endeavour to summarise the replies of the Governments to the questionnaire of the 28th October, 1932. Necessarily the table does riot take into account the detailed explanations given by the Governments in their replies, which are set out in full earlier in the report referred to. His Majesty's Government have never sought to maintain that no arms are manufactured by private firms in this country, and I do not think that there is any doubt as to the position in this country. In view, moreover, of the fact that this report is more than a year old, and that there have been recent new developments in the committee appointed to study the question of the manufacture of and trade in arms, I do not consider that any useful purpose would be served 'at this late date in moving for the alteration of the report in one particular or another.
§ Mr. MANDER
In view of the fact that this table presents an entirely false picture of the position, will not the right hon. Gentleman consider the possibility of making some statement which will bring the real facts more truly to the attention of the world?
§ Mr. MANDER
Is it not a fact that the table is based upon information supplied by the British Government and have we not therefore a responsibility?