HC Deb 13 June 1934 vol 290 c1677

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the decision of the Italian Government to lay down immediately two 35,000 ton capital ships; and whether, in view of the fact that this decision of the Italian Government is likely to preclude the possibility of the Naval Conference next year agreeing to reduce the size of capital ships below the present maximum permitted tonnage, he proposes to make friendly inquiries of the Italian Government with a view to ascertaining whether it will be possible for the Italian Government to postpone its decision pending a consideration of this question by the Naval Conference?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regard the second part, the whole subject of future naval limitation in connection with the 1935 Conference is under the close consideration of His Majesty's Government, and invitations have recently been issued to the four other countries signatories of the Washington and London Naval Treaties to take part in preliminary bilateral conversations in the near future. All relevant technical questions will, it is hoped, be discussed in these conversations.