HC Deb 28 November 1938 vol 342 cc16-7
17. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Prime Minister whether His Majesty's Government will take the initiative in urging States which are not in the League of Nations to join or give their support to the League, with a view to rebuilding it to meet the present menace to peace?

Mr. Butler

His Majesty's Government are fully aware of the importance of extending the membership of the League of Nations and of obtaining the collaboration of non-member States. At the Nineteenth Assembly of the League, they took the lead in putting forward a proposal, which was adopted by the assembly, for the so-called separation of the Covenant from the Peace Treaties, and for the elimination of certain expressions in the Covenant which might contribute to estrange or induce States to stand aloof from the League. His Majesty's Government also took the initiative of proposing a resolution inviting the collaboration of non-Member States. On the proposal of the United Kingdom representative on the council, the assembly resolutions on both these subjects were circulated to a number of non-member States, including the United States of America, Germany and Japan.

Mr. MacMillan

Does the hon. Gentleman think that securing regional pacts between this country and nations which are outside the League of Nations, without urging them to make agreements within the League, will really tend to strengthen the League or rebuild it in any way?

Mr. Butler

I am satisfied that all our efforts tend towards rebuilding the League.