HC Deb 30 March 1936 vol 310 cc1603-4

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the French Government have refused permission to the Abyssinian Government to import arms by the Jibuti Railway; and whether, in view of the terms of the agreement, he will make representations on this subject to the French Government?


I am not certain to what agreement the hon. Member refers, but I cannot in any event undertake to answer for the action of a foreign Government.


Would it not be a breach of the sanctions policy agreed upon by the League to prevent munitions going by the Jibuti Railway? Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the point?


I do not think it can be so described.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action is being taken by the Government alone or through the League of Nations to protest against and prevent the Italian bombing of Red Cross hospitals and the use of poison gas, contrary to the 1925 Protocol?

6. Captain CAZALET

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can give the House any information in regard to the dropping of gas bombs by the Italian force in Abyssinia; and whether, seeing that the use of such bombs is contrary to the Protocol of 1925, which was ratified by Italy on 3rd April, 1928, the Government intend to make any protest?


On 22nd March I received from His Majesty's Minister at Addis Ababa the text of a, protest communicated to him by the Ethiopian Government on the previous day against the continuous use by Italy of asphyxiating gas and similar gases, in violation of the Hague Convention (No. 4) of 18th October, 1907, and the Geneva Protocol of 17th July, 1925. This protest, which had been preceded by a. briefer protest telegraphed to Geneva on 17th March, was addressed to His Majesty's Government, as a signatory of the instruments referred to above, as well as to the League of Nations and to the other Governments represented at Addis Ababa. These complaints, together with the protests which have been addressed to the League by the Ethiopian Government regarding the bombing of Red Cross units, were considered by the Committee of Thirteen at its meeting in London on 23rd March. The Committee decided to refer the complaints of the Ethiopian Government to the Italian Government and to remind that Government of the provisions of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and I understand that this has now been done. The representative of His Majesty's Government associated himself with that decision.


Would not by far the most effective action be to put on oil sanctions and thus end the war?


Extend the war.


This is a matter for the Committee of Thirteen. As soon as the Italian reply has been received, His Majesty's Government will certainly do their best to see that the whole position is reviewed as soon as possible.

Back to