HC Deb 15 March 1937 vol 321 cc1614-6
15. Sir William Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, having regard to the fact that there are no sanctions attaching to the failure to carry out the provisions of the Protocol of 1925 dealing with the use of poison gas in time of war, he will approach the Powers, both inside and outside the League, as to whether they would be prepared to enter into a definite treaty with proper sanctions in the case of evasion against this form of warfare?

Viscount Cranborne

I have much sympathy with the aim which my hon. Friend wishes to achieve, but I fear that there is little prospect in present circumstances of international agreement being reached on the lines suggested.

Sir W. Davison

If it is considered impossible to secure agreement among the Powers to prohibit this inhuman and barbarous form of warfare, is any really useful purpose secured in continuing a League of Nations for the prevention of war in general?

Mr. Sorensen

Will the Noble Lord indicate to the House what kind of warfare is not barbarous?

Sir Percy Harris

What country took the initiative in the manufacture of poison Las after the War?

Sir W. Davison

Does not the Noble Lord agree that this is a much more barbarous form of warfare than others?

19. Sir Frank Sanderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the names of the countries which have signed and ratified the 1925 Geneva Poison Gas Protocol; what countries have not signed that Protocol; and what countries are known to have taken defensive measures against a possible enemy gas attack?

Viscount Cranborne

As regards the first two parts of the question, I will with my hon. Friend's permission circulate the desired information in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As regards the last part, His Majesty's Government have information that defensive measures against a possible enemy gas attack have been taken in almost all countries in Europe, as well as in certain other countries.

Sir F. Sanderson

Do the signatories include all the great European Powers?

Viscount Cranborne

As far as the last part of the answer is concerned, all countries are included, with the exception of Finland and Greece.

Sir P. Harris

Can the Noble Lord state in his official reply what countries have manufactured or are manufacturing poison gas at the present time?

Following is the information:

The following States have ratified or definitely acceded to the Protocol of 17th June, 1925, for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous and Other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare:—Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, Irish Free State, India, Iraq, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Roumania, Siam, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.

The following States have signed or acceded to the Protocol but their signatures or accessions have not yet been perfected by ratification:—United States of America, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Nicaragua, Salvador, Uruguay.

No other States have signed the Protocol.

Forward to