§ The following Questions stood upon the Order Paper:
§ 10. Mr. A. HENDERSON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 619 whether His Majesty's Government will oppose any proposal that sanctions shall be ended on the ground that the policy of sanctions has failed, and also oppose any proposal to limit the powers of the League on the ground that collective security has failed?
§ 11. Mr. DALTON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government have now decided what attitude they will adopt at the forthcoming Council and Assembly of the League of Nations as regards sanctions against Italy?
§ 14. Sir PERCY HARRIS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the policy of His Majesty's Government with regard to the Italo-Abyssinian dispute remains in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant of the League of Nations?
§ 16. Mr. THURTLE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, at the forthcoming meeting of the Council of the League of Nations, His Majesty's Government will exert their utmost influence to preserve the system of collective security as embodied in the Covenant of the League?
§ Mr. KENNEDY
On a point of Order. Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I say that on Thursday of last week I handed in a starred question for to-day asking for information regarding the Government's policy on sanctions and the League of Nation's treatment of the Abyssinian question? My question does not appear on the Order Paper to-day, and I should like to be informed of the reason for it not appearing.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member handed the question in on Thursday, it is almost exactly the same question which was put by the Leader of the Opposition on the previous day.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
A questioner is often dissatisfied with the reply which is given, but that cannot be an adequate reason for putting the same question down again.
§ Mr. EDEN
It is the desire of His Majesty's Government that there should 620 be a Debate on foreign policy on the earliest date that can be conveniently arranged. On that occasion I shall be prepared to state the views of His Majesty's Government as to the action which is to be taken collectively at the meetings of the Council and the Assembly of the League of Nations, which are to be held on 26th and 30th June respectively.
§ Mr. DALTON
Will the statement which the right hon. Gentleman will then make be on the lines of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer?
§ Mr. ATTLEE
In view of that reply, I beg to give notice that on Thursday next we shall ask for the Vote on the salary of the Prime Minister to be put down, in order that we may get an authoritative statement of what is the Government's foreign policy.
§ Mr. LENNOX-BOYD
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very lively satisfaction with which in many parts of the country the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been received?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Arising out of my question, is the right hon. Gentleman even now prepared to affirm the continued belief of the Government in the policy of Collective Security without the House having to wait for a statement?
§ Mr. A. HENDERSON
In view of the widespread publicity which this unfortunate speech has received in this country and in other countries, can the right hon. Gentleman consider making a statement forthwith as to the intentions of the Government, so as to remove the great anxiety that has been caused as a result of this great indiscretion on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer?
Mr. VYVYAN ADAMS
Before formulating a Government policy for the 621 near future, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind our vital and legitimate Imperial interests in seeing that the League does not compound Italy's abominable felony.
47. Mr. V. ADAMS
asked the Prime Minister when the House is to be given an opportunity to debate the international situation?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)
As my right hon. Friend has already announced, His Majesty's Government are anxious that such a debate should take place. The date is a matter for arrangement through the usual channels. Since the questions were answered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs a definite request has been made by the Leader of the Opposition.
Does that mean that the Prime Minister himself, personally, will elucidate the famous surrealist speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer?
§ Sir P. HARRIS
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a Private Bill has been put down for 7.30 o'clock on Thursday which would mean that we would have only a half-day for this debate?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
It is, of course, the fact that such a Bill has been put down, but I have no doubt the usual consultations will take place subsequently. If it is the strong desire of the House that a debate should take place as early as Thursday, then, of course, arrangements will have to be made, and I think the whole day might be available. I should add that the Private Bill has been put down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means, and we shall have to see what can be done. I can give no guarantee myself.