HC Deb 16 December 1937 vol 330 cc1338-9
71 Mr. Lathan

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he can make any statement on the recent session of the Financial Committee of the League of Nations at Geneva and, in particular, on the proposal to set up a mixed committee to investigate the nature of causes of economic depressions?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

Yes, Sir; but as the statement is a long one I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement:

In September last the Assembly of the League of Nations invited the Economic and Financial Organisation of the League to examine a number of problems including, in particular, measures which might be employed with a view to the prevention or mitigation of economic depressions. The Financial Committee considered that, since major depressions demand collective action and a concerted policy, it is necessary to plan ahead and to endeavour to reach agreement, at least about certain principles of policy, in advance. I understand that they suggested at their recent session that the Council of the League might appoint a special committee, including some members of the Economic and Financial Committees or other persons of similar competence, and some economists who have specialised in this branch of economics. The committee suggested that Governments might be requested to furnish to the Secretary-General

  1. (a) brief statements of the measures adopted in recent years with a view to reviving economic activity, indicating in as far as possible the relative order of importance of those measures. The committee added that it would be convenient if in furnishing this information Governments would distinguish between those measures which were adopted as expedients intended to meet an exceptionally critical situation and those constituting an inherent part of a systematic endeavour to revive economic activity. The committee also suggested that Governments might be willing to add any conclusions to which the experience of recent years would seem to point confirming the relative effectiveness of the various measures adopted.
  2. (b) a summary of any measures of a more permanent character adopted by them with a view to the prevention or mitigation of depressions in the future. The Financial Committee's report will be considered by the Council at their next meeting.