HC Deb 04 August 1939 vol 350 cc2818-9
18. Mr. Vyvyan Adams

asked the Prime Minister, whether he has any statement to make on the progress of negotiations between Moscow and London.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Butler)

I have nothing to add to the statement which the Prime Minister made on 31st July.

Mr. Adams

In order to complete the military side of these negotiations, will the Government of the United Kingdom now send to Moscow a Minister Plenipotentiary?

Mr. Butler

I am afraid I can add nothing to the statements which the Prime Minister has already made on this and other aspects of this matter.

Mr. Wedgwood Benn

Are we to take it from the remark made by the Prime Minister on Wednesday last, during the Debate on the Adjournment of the House, that he has very little hope of these negotiations being successful within the next month?

Mr. Mander

(by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether he can state the formulas put forward by the Russian Government on the one side and the British Government on the other to cover the case of indirect aggression?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

No, Sir. It is not customary to publish documents of this character without the assent of other parties to the negotiations.

Mr. Mander

In view of the controversy and uncertainty which exist in this country on this matter, does not the Prime Minister think that it would be in the public interest that the relative positions taken up by the two countries should be clearly stated, and will he be good enough —.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member has had a very decided answer to his Question.

Mr. Mander

But may I ask —.[HON. MEMBERS: "Order."] I think there is a point which you will admit, Mr. Speaker —.[Hon. Members: "Order."] On a point of Order. The question I want to put to the Prime Minister —.I am not putting it now —.is this: He says that it is not desirable to make any statement without consulting another Government, and my point is whether he will be good enough to consider the possibility of consulting with the Russian Government about a joint publication. That arises directly out of the reply.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member has already had his answer.