HC Deb 16 March 1936 vol 310 cc6-9
13. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what sanctions concerning Germany were asked for by the French Government; and did they include the withdrawal of ambassadors from Berlin?


As the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will be aware, the action of the French and Belgian Governments with regard to the recent breach of the Treaty of Locarno by Germany has been to bring the matter to the notice of the Council of the League. I am afraid that I cannot say anything further at the moment.


Are we to understand from that reply that no definite sanctions have been asked for by the French Government from the British Government, prior to approaching the Council of the League?


I am afraid the right hon. and gallant Gentleman must understand only what is in the answer.

18. Mr. LEWIS

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any further statement to make as to the negotiations with those countries which were parties to the Locarno Treaty?


Discussions are still in progress, and I am not yet in a position to make any statement?

19. Mr. COCKS

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Government has ascertained, or will ascertain, whether the German Government is prepared to include Russia among the States with which it is ready to conclude a pact of non-aggression?


I would refer the hon. Member to the terms of the German Government's memorandum of 7th March, a translation of which was published in Command Paper No. 5118.


In view of the fact that last summer the then Foreign Secretary stated that the British Government assumed that Germany was prepared to conclude such a pact with Russia, and seeing that doubt has recently been cast on that, will the British Government really try to find out whether Germany is prepared to do that?


This appears to be primarily a question for the Soviet and German Governments.


Will the British Government find out from the German Government whether they are prepared to include Soviet Russia in a pact of nonaggression, seeing that the late Foreign Secretary stated that the British Government assumed that they were? Will the Noble Lord give me a reply? This is very important.

Major-General Sir ALFRED KNOX

Is there any reason why the National Government should take the Soviet Government under its protection?

22. Mr. SANDYS

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has obtained from the German Government any elucidation as to the meaning of the phrase, colonial equality of rights, contained in the last paragraph of the German memorandum of 7th March (Cmd. 5118)?


No, Sir.


Does my Noble Friend recognise the importance of finding out as quickly as possible how far the German request for equality of colonial rights is compatible with the policy recently announced by the Colonial Secretary to the effect that Great Britain had no intention of transferring mandated territories to any other Power?


This will naturally be a matter for suitable inquiry when and if the appropriate moment arrives.


Will the Under-Secretary see that no minorities come under German rule until the Germans have treated their own minority properly?

23. Commander LOCKER-LAMPSON

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has noticed Herr Hitler's allegation, in excuse of his breach of the Locarno Agreement, that it was already broken by the pact entered into between the Soviet and France; and whether, as Herr Hitler's breach included the entry into a demilitarised zone alongside Belgian territory and the Belgian Government had not completed any pact with the Soviet, he will protest against this encroachment at any rate; and what action he intends to take?


I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the aspects of the present situation raised in his question have not escaped the notice of His Majesty's Government. The breach by Germany of the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles relating to the Demilitarised Zone and of Article 4 of the Treaty of Locarno is, as my hon. and gallant Friend knows, at present under consideration by the Council of the League of Nations. I cannot at present make any further statement on this matter.


Is it not possible for any signatory of the Locarno Treaty to leave the obligations under that Treaty by merely giving notice?


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether in any negotiations for a pact of peace with Germany to ensure stability in Europe, the Government will have regard to the necessity of obtaining from Germany assurances regarding her pacific intentions towards both Russia and Austria?


I cannot add anything with regard to such negotiations to what my right hon. Friend said in the course of his statement in the House last Monday.


May I take it that His Majesty's Government are alive to the necessity of seeing that peace in Europe is ensured both in the east as well as in the west?


His Majesty's Government are alive to all considerations arising out of the matter.