HC Deb 16 December 1936 vol 318 cc2430-1

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Government were in consultation with the New Zealand Government with reference to the latter's memorandum on the reform of the League of Nations, and is in agreement therewith; and in particular, whether the British Government will support the New Zealand proposal for the creation of an international force under the control of the League, or the allocation to the League of a definite proportion of the armed forces of its members, land, sea, and ail, up to the extent desired?


His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom were informed by His Majesty's Government in New Zealand of the latter's intention to make their contribution to the League's work of studying the application of the principles of the Covenant by communicating to the Secretary-General a memorandum setting forth their views. His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom were not consulted regarding the terms of this memorandum. While they are in agreement with certain of the principles enunciated therein they note that in communicating the memorandum to the Secretary-General His Majesty's Government in New Zealand stated that in the event of their proposals being generally regarded as not immediately practicable they would not demur to the consideration of progress by stages or indeed of alternative proposals. In answer to the second part of the question, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom do not consider these proposals practicable at the present time.


Do I understand that there is a difference of opinion in the British Commonwealth of Nations as to League of Nations policy, and would it not be better by consultation to arrive at an agreed policy?


As I have explained, there are any number of different views about the future of the Covenant within the British Commonwealth just as there are among hon. Members.