§ 4. Mr. COCKS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any pledges or assurances were given by His Majesty's Government in 1935, to the French Government relative to the attitude to be maintained by this country at Geneva towards the imposition of military sanctions, towards the closing of the Suez Canal, towards any measure which might lead to a blockade, and towards the withdrawal of Ambassadors from Rome, respectively; if so, whether he will give the dates upon which such pledges or assurances were given; and whether they still have binding force?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Viscount Cranborne)
No pledges or assurances have been given by His Majesty's Government which bind them as to their attitude in the future as regards any of the matters to which the hon. Member refers. It was, however, understood between His Majesty's Government and the French Government at Geneva in September last that in their view any collective action to be taken against Italy under Article 16 of the Covenant should, in the first instance, be confined to certain economic and financial measures taken under the first paragraph of that article. His Majesty's Government have repeatedly made it clear that they would not in any event take isolated action. On this point I would refer the hon. Member to page 4 of the recent White Paper (Cmd. 5072).