HC Deb 28 July 1937 vol 326 cc3071-2
7. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any statement to make with reference to the proposal of the King of the Belgians for the establishment of an independent world economic organisation?

28. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the letter written by the King of the Belgians on the necessity for an economic conference; and whether he is prepared to make a statement?

Mr. Eden

As the hon. Members will be aware, the Belgian Prime Minister undertook the mission of inquiry into existing world economic conditions, to which reference is made in the letter from His Majesty the King of the Belgians, at the joint invitation of the French Government and of His Majesty's Government. His Majesty's Government have, therefore, naturally read with great interest the suggestions made in His Majesty's letter, a copy of which has been communicated to me by the Belgian Ambassador. I understand that Monsieur Van Zeeland is about to set out the preliminary results of his inquiry. In view of this fact, and of the fact that His Majesty's Government have not so far been requested to furnish their comments on the detailed suggestions made in the King of the Belgian's letter, it would not be desirable for me to comment on these suggestions at present. I would, however, say that His Majesty's Government warmly appreciate the ideals which inspire His Majesty's initiative and that they will approach the examination of the result of Monsieur Van Zeeland's preliminary inquiry with a desire to co-operate in any proposals which offer prospects of practical action.

Mr. Mander

In considering this matter, will the Foreign Secretary bear in mind that very powerful and effective machinery of this kind already exists in the League of Nations?

Mr. Eden

That is certainly in my mind.

Mr. Bellenger

The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the report of M. Van Zeeland on his preliminary investigations; can he tell the House whether that report is likely to be published at an early date?

Mr. Eden

I am afraid that I could not do so without notice, and I think that would be a matter for M. Van Zeeland himself.