HC Deb 19 December 1935 vol 307 cc1933-4
46. Mr. LEACH

asked the Prime Minister what instructions he has given to the British delegates regarding America's proposal for a 20 per cent. all-round cut in naval armaments; and why the announcement of the proposal to build seven new destroyers was made at this juncture?


As regards the first part of the question, it is not in the public interest at present to publish the instructions that have been given to the British delegation to the present Naval Conference. As regards the second part of the question, the seven new destroyers are required for the replacement under the existing treaties of war built destroyers which are becoming worn out. The proposal was announced so that foreign delegations might be aware of our intention and be under no misapprehension that it was connected with any proposals before the conference.


Will the Prime Minister please say whether the instructions he has given to our delegates at the conference are in consonance with the pledges he put forward during the Election with regard to disarmament?

Viscountess ASTOR

Does not the Prime Minister think that owing to the—


There are a very large number of questions to be answered.