§ 43. Mr. CHORLTON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the earliest date the Congo Basin treaty or treaties can be denounced?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I have been asked to reply. None of the instruments in question, namely, the Berlin Act of 1885, the Brussels Act and Declaration of 1890 and the St. Germain Convention of 1919, contains any specific provision for denunciation.
§ Mr. CHORLTON
Is it not possible to take any action whatsoever relative to the large amount of cotton textiles that goes into these countries from Japan? Are we compelled to go on without end?
§ Sir J. SIMON
That really is a different matter. I have confined myself to 1442 the question that is asked on the Paper, and the fact is that these international instruments do not contain any Clause providing for their denunciation. That, of course, raises a question for consideration, but I cannot say more than I have said now.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
May we take it that there is nothing in the Treaties which would prevent their abrogation by consent?
§ Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
Is it not the case that the treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye provided that within 10 years of ratification the signatories might assemble and consider its future form?
§ Sir J. SIMON
No doubt there are provisions for meeting to consider what should be done. The difficulty, I understand, is that there is nothing provided in terms as to what should happen if there is a difference of view; but I can assure my hon. Friends that the considerations they have just been suggesting are not overlooked, and that the matter is being very carefully studied.
48. Captain CAZALET
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state the total volume of exports from this country to those parts of East and West Africa other than those belonging to the British Empire governed by the terms of the Congo Basin treaties separately?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Dr. Burgin)
The Colonies of foreign Powers in Africa which are governed by the provisions of the Congo Basin treaties relating to commercial equality are the Belgian Congo and certain parts of French Equatorial Africa and of Portuguese West Africa. Except in respect of the Belgian Congo, it is not possible to furnish the desired information, as separate particulars of our trade with the parts of territories in question are not recorded in the trade returns of the United Kingdom. The hon. and gallant Member will find in volume IV of the Annual Statement of the Trade of the United Kingdom for 1932 detailed particulars of our trade during each of the years 1928 to 1932 with French West and Equatorial Africa as a whole, Portuguese West Africa as a whole, and the Belgian Congo, 1443 while particulars of the aggregate value of our trade with each of these areas in 1933 and in the first quarter of this year are shown in the issues of the accounts relating to Trade and Navigation for January and April, 1934, respectively.
If the particulars are not obtainable, how is it possible to come to a proper decision as to whether these treaties should be abrogated or not?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I have given the House the extent to which the particulars are available. There are no particulars beyond those I have indicated.