HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 cc1701-2
32. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether the Dominions have been consulted with regard to the position arising out of recent changes in foreign policy; and what communications have been received from them on the subject?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I cannot accept the assumption underlying the first part of the question. I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to similar questions asked yesterday by the hon. Member for Maryhill (Mr. Davidson) and the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton (Lieut.-Commander Fletcher).

Mr. Mander

In view of the fact that fundamental differences have been disclosed and that the Prime Minister has abandoned collective security, may we ask whether the Dominions are satisfied with this radical departure in foreign policy?

Mr. MacDonald

I think the hon. Gentleman will see from newspaper reports of what some of the Dominion Prime Ministers have said that they would not agree that there has been any fundamental departure.

Mr. Mander

Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible date.

48. Mr. A. Jenkins

asked the Prime Minister whether he has consulted the Dominions regarding the proposed conversations with the Italian and German Governments; and, if so, will he inform the House of the result?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

As regards conversations with Italy, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave yesterday to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton (Lieut.-Commander Fletcher). The position is similar as regards Germany.

Mr. Jenkins

In view of the fact that, according to the reply given yesterday, the Dominions have been informed by telegraph of the developments that have been taking place, and also that the Prime Minister indicated yesterday that the assent of the Dominions was not necessary until they were called upon to undertake active obligations, may I ask the Prime Minister whether he considers that to be a proper line to take in order to get proper co-operation between the Dominions and this country?

The Prime Minister

I see no reason to think the contrary.

Mr. A. V. Alexander

In view of the great importance of this matter, can the Prime Minister arrange to supply the House with copies of the telegrams and of the replies to them received from the Dominions?

Mr. Jenkins

May I ask, further, whether this action is in accordance with the consultations that took place at the Imperial Conference last summer?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Sir Joseph Nall

Are there any grounds for supposing that the Dominions have asked the hon. Gentleman to put these questions?