HC Deb 08 April 1936 vol 310 cc2748-9
5. Lieut. - Colonel Sir ARNOLD WILSON

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the League of Nations has yet completed its examination of the allegations made of the misuse of Red Cross emblems in Ethiopia and the discovery of 20,000 rounds of ammunition in a Swedish Red Cross lorry; and what conclusions, if any, have been reached?


The League of Nations have circulated to members of the League a variety of complaints made by both belligerents concerning the alleged misuse or neglect of the Red Cross. On 23rd March the chairman of the Committee of Thirteen, in giving effect to a decision reached by the committee on that date, referred certain complaints made by the Ethiopian Government concerning the bombing of Red Cross units to the Italian Government. So far as I am aware no reply has yet been received from the Italian Government to the chairman's communication. As regards that part of my hon. and gallant Friend's question which relates to the alleged discovery of ammunition in a Swedish Red Cross lorry, I understand that the Swedish Red Cross Society announced in February that it had been ascertained definitely that the lorries of their ambulance unit in Ethiopia carried no ammunition whatsoever up to the time they were abandoned on the virtual destruction of the unit as a result of being bombed by Italian aircraft.

7. Mr. RILEY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any negotiations are now taking place between the Governments of Italy and Abyssinia or through the Council of the League of Nations with a view to the cessation of hostilities?


So far as I am aware, no such negotiations have taken place. The hon. Member will, however, be aware that the Committee of Thirteen are meeting to-day in Geneva for the. purpose of reviewing the situation in the light of the report to be made by their chairman on the results of the action taken by him since the Committee met in London on 23rd March, in order to carry out the Committee's mandate to him to take such steps as may be called in order that the Committee may be able, as soon as possible, to bring the two parties together and, within the framework of the League of Nations and in the spirit of the Covenant, to bring about the prompt cessation of hostilities and the final restoration of peace.